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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have recently finished my first 1911 project gun. It was a cheap Charles Daley. I did everything I could think of to this gun, just so I could learn the 1911. I mainly work on Berreta's and revolvers and bolt rifles. Anyway it turn out great. It averages alittle less than 2" at 50yd from a RR. It looks and feels like a $1500 to $2000 custom (other than BIG letters on the side that spell Charles Daily


Now I am considering getting into bullseye shooting, and of course I would be building my own gun. And as you know, the more accurate the better.

The question(s) I have are:
How hard is it to get a 2" 1911(50yd)? Do I just duplicate everything I did on the Charles Daly? Or was this a fluk? I really didn't think about how good it was going to shoot when I put it together, I just fit everything the way I thought it should be? Anyway, how hard is it?

All comments welcome.
 

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I'm guessing you figured it out.The trick to accuracy in 1911s is a great barrel/bushing/slide lockup.Tightening the slide to the rails helps a little,but is kind of a moot point if the sights are mounted to the slide.By the sounds of your Ransom test,your rails are tight.This gun might shoot better than that by hand if there is noticeable rail clearence (which I would doubt) and you can hold it that repeatably on target.I know I couldn't.A good barrel always helps,but the name brands are all pretty much equal.Chamber,ammo,sights etc. all play a part,but I think you have the mechanical part figured out.If you have any doubt,Kuhnhausen probably explains it the best in his books.Vol 2 has the 'Holy Grail' of barrel fitting and 'match fitting',but they should be read in order to understand original specs and operation compared to the current methods and reasons.Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the coments. I had worked on many 1911's before this, but I had never built one from the ground up. The slide to frame fit on this gun is not loose by any means, but there is some play. I left it this way on purpose. I figured there had to be some place for the dirt to go. But it is still tighter than any factory gun I have had ahold of.
I didn't think the gun would function when I first fit the barrel\bushing\lock up. It was tight (and still is after 1000 rounds)! You have to really put effort into pulling the slide out of lock up. I guess if anything, this is the one of the keys to accuracy? Probably not the best for a defense gun.

Anyone else have some input on accurate 1911's?

Thanks,
 

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IMO, 2-inch groups at 50 yards is more then adequate for bullseye competition. Especially if it is 10 round groups. You should shoot 10 round groups out of a bullseye pistol because that would match what is being shot during competition. Of those 10 shots at 2 inches, at least 5 of them will be solid X’s, simply by accident. With a good trigger, in the right hands, that pistol would win many a match.

You will here of some pistolsmiths claiming 1 ½ inch groups at 50 yards, but more times then not it is a 5 shot group, and it takes multiple groups to achieve the one good one that they will show you.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I shoot 10 shot groups when ever I test a gun through a RR. Except for a revolver. I do 12 shots for them. I usually go for about 5 10 shot groups to get the average.

With the right reloads, This gun averages 2" (10 shot). The worst group ever recorded, was 4.2" (10 shot) at 50yd with Winchester factory hard ball.

I am just wondering how hard it would be to duplicate these results, because this gun has too many "options" on it for a bullseye gun.

Thanks for the replies. Have a good day!!
 

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I’m not sure what you mean by too many options. As far as I know, all the bells and whistles, such as lowered ejection port, beavertail grip safety, dot or scope sights, special grips, etc. are allowed. Now if you want to shoot in EIC matches, that’s a different story. A service pistol match (EIC) would require the pistol to look “as issued” cosmetically. You can view the bullseye pistol rules at http://www.bullseyepistol.com

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"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things MUST take place...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I put this gun together for IDPA, bowling pins, etc.... The main option is I cut the front and rear dovetails into the slide. The rear is very low mount Bo-mar (big cuts). With a slide mount, it would look bad, not to mention the waste of time cutting the slide. I think the last screw hole in a slide mount would be right over where the sight cut is, and it would take to much weld to fill in the cut.

Besides, I need an exuse to have a winter project
and I have a bone stock SA loaded that I took on trade last year that needs a purpose in life other than setting in the gun safe.

Thanks
 

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Hi catbird, I’m a little late answering your question, I down loaded this reply onto a floppy and ½ of it got scrambled, please excuse me if I repeat what was said above or over answered your question. I added a few things that may help in your quest for building an accurate 1911.

To answer your questions: If you tightened-up the tolerances in your pistol, I’m not surprised it will shoot 2 inch @ 50 yards and I don’t think you have a fluke. For what your working with, 2 inch @ 50 yards is pretty good out of a 45 ACP.
Yes, I think you should be able to get 2 inch out of your next pistol, give or take a ½ inch.
I don't think yu need a $1500 pistol to shoot accurately. As you know, you can tighten-up a loosely fitted pistol with a good barrel and do the same thing. BUT! With a new after market frame & slide, CNC machine to exacting tolerances, properly heat-treated, it will retain its tolerances much better in the long run. You will have to justify the cost in fixing-up a loosely fitted pistol or going with a new, tight tolerance platform.

One BIG draw back in building a 1-1/2 inch pistol is the ammo. Most ammo won’t shoot 1-1/2 @ 50 yards out of a barrel test fixture, so its pretty tough to build a 1-1/2 inch pistol with all the variables involved. Remember a little bit of wind will also play hell with your bullets when testing.

First, to test the accuracy, you need good quality match ammo like Federal wad-cutter. For a reload, the Nosler 185 grain is an excellent bullet.
Mike Curtis has fire more ammo through barrel test fixtures than anyone I know. Mike is retired Marine Corps, built bullseye pistols at the Corps and in his retirement. His pistols dominated Camp Perry while he was at the Corps and in decade of the 90’s in his retirement. I’ve worked closely with Mike Curtis for a few years. Before Mike builds a pistol he tests each barrel for accuracy in a barrel test fixture. He’ll tell you if a barrel shoots a 1-1/4 10 shots @ 50 yards your doing pretty good. NONE of the barrel I sent him for testing went below 1-1/4. Now, when you build the gun your going to loose a little accuracy. He feels the ammo is a limiting factor in the 45ACP. Some feel the 9mm’s (38 Super etc…) are inherently more accurate with the right ammo. I believe this is true. Sub-1 inch groups are not uncommon. If you have a 45 that CONSISTANTY shoots 10 shots 1-1/2 inch @ 50 yards, gold plate it.

To wring-out the last little bit of accuracy, 1911 smiths pay special attention to fitting the lower barrel lugs (also referred to as the barrel feet). The idea is to leave the flat that contacts the slide stop pin as long as possible. This is to ensure the barrel stays locked into battery before the bullet exits the muzzle. I recently saw a high-speed film of a 9mm bullet exiting the muzzle in a 1911-designed pistol. I managed to stop the film right at the moment the bullet was about to exit the muzzle, i.e. the bullet was still in the barrel. Before the pistol was fired the full-length guide rod was flush with the muzzle. I could see the full length rod guide protruding (I guessed approximately one 1/16th of a inch) from the slide before the bullet exited the muzzle, meaning the slide was moving rearward as the bullet was still in the barrel. I was told latter that the rod guide was measured @ .093 before the bullet exited the muzzle. The 45 ACP with more recoil will most likely have more movement.

Warning: the flat, link-lug fit is critical. If not fit correctly it will cause problems.
1.Some smiths try to make the flat to long and cut the lugs thin and they sheer off, (as a rule of thumb, I NEVER cut the lugs thinner than .100, measured from the center of the radius at the slide stop pin cut to the rear of the lug).
2. If the flat is to long the link may bind and break going in or out of battery.
3. To eliminate the bind coming out or into battery, I seen smiths grind the bottom of the link pinhole elongating it, i.e. egg shaped, to eliminate the binding. With an elongated or long link the barrel may stay locked into the slide to long and the rear of the barrel feet can hit the frame sheer off.

I cut my lower barrel lugs on a 4th axis rotary table on a milling machine. I have a certain set of dimensions I use to cut the flat and the forward radius (where the link swivels in & out of battery). The center of the set-up is the link pinhole that attaches the link to the barrel, i.e. this pinhole is centered on the table and all other measurements are taken from this centerline. The end-mill I cut the lug with is .198, so when complete my digital read out will tell me what size link is needed. This cut is made in one motion (I’m actually turning 2 axis at the same time) to give me a smooth transition from the flat to the radius. It is critical that there is a smooth transition when the slide stop pin passes from the radius to the flat. THIS is the point where a round is being feed into the chamber. IF the barrel lug bumps the slide stop pin and the transition is not smooth, a jam going up the feed ramp is possible. The key is a smooth transition without bind.

Everyone does not need a rotary table to cut the barrel lugs properly, I use this method out of convenience. There are a few methods for cutting barrel lugs and they all work if done properly. Jack Weigand came out with a nifty little fixture and a video for fitting barrels, which is much less complicated then my set-up and will achieve the same results. Mike Curtis switched to Jack’s barrel fitting fixture. I never used the fixture yet but as with all of Jack’s tools, it’s clever, simple and will do a good job if used properly.
Hope this helps, Pete


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Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the great info.
I have had the opportunity to shoot a Mike Curtis gun. It was the best shooting 1911 I have every fired period. In fact, that particular gun was my "guide" on the one I just completed.

The Mike Curtis gun was my first dealings with a bullseye pistol. I would have bet money the thing would function. However, in all the time the owner shot it, it NEVER jammed, and always shot good groups.

Thanks again.
 

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Hi catbird, glad you found the info useful, Mike is doing well and now with the BATF, it don't surprise me that you were impressed with his pistol, I heard many people say this, even from people that had guns built by the biggest names in the business.

Here is a link to "Mechanical Accuracy" a post I wrote awhile back, read it for what its worth, Pete
http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/000014.html

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Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
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Pete,
I enjoy and learn alot from your posts, they are always long and very detailed. thanks for taking your time to share your knowledge.


Shay
 

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Thanks, Metalsmith, for your wonderful post. I printed it an put it in my 3-ring bench manual.

Did Mike Curtis make his own barrel testing fixture or did he use the Cominoli one? Is Mike still building bullseye pistols part-time? Best Regards, and Go Navy! Beat Army!
 

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Hi Shay & Slo cat, I'm glad you enjoyed my post, you guys make it worth writing.

Slo cat, no, I don't beleive Mike uses a Cominoli fixture, he's been testing barrel long before the Cominoli came along, I'm not sure where he got his fixture from, but he and Al Marvel were working on a better design. No I don't think he is building guns part time, Pete

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Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
NRA Life Member
 
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