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Ed Brown's Bobtail Jig - has anyone used this device to modify your frame?

What would one use to remove the excess metal? Belt Sander? Dremel? Hand File?

I have always liked the Bobtail design and now that I have my CHL, I'd like to have one (or two) of my carry guns modified so I can install a snakeskin (maybe chainlink) bobtailed mainspring housing.

Nothing beats the "real thing"... I know, I know... I'm saving my pennies (in groups of 100) for a Kobra Carry. Just curious to know if anyone has attempted to perform this surgery to their own frames or is this something best left to the pros (too complex for the average schmoe to handle).
 

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I purchased one from ebay and tried it out on a SS Colt commander. I used a milling machine to set up the hole. I removed the bulk of material with a belt sander and hand filed the sides to fit like stock.
It worked like a champ.
I sand/bead blasted the filed area for a return to stock finish.
I think I had about 3-4 hours in the whole job.
I had fun and the pistol looked great.
 

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I'm sure you probably know, but the jig's purpose is to locate the pin hole for the mainspring housing, nothing more. The boundries for removing material are taken from the bobtailed mainspring housing itself.

There really isn't a whole lot to this operation. I've done four. One for myself on a Kimber 4" aluminum, the other 3 on stainless Springers and Colts. On all, I used a stationary disk sander to get the metal removal close to the line I scribed from the new MSH, then used files and finally wet/dry sandpaper to finish up.

I guess I should note that I sent the Kimber back to the factory for re-anodizing and finishing.
 

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Mac...How's that aluminum frame holding up to the Bobtail? I remember some folks expressing concern with how near the MSH pin is to the edge of the removed metal, possibly causing a weak spot.
 

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I did the work 5 or 6 years ago, relating to somewhere in the neighborhood of 10k rounds. This gun has not been a high mileage gun, but I notice no problems in the area of the pin hole. I don't really know if the re-anodizing actually helps the integrity of the pin hole, but it definitely hardens the surface. I would hazard to guess that the frame will hold up fine, considering that the tight fit of the parts allow no movement.

Kimber had the gun for around 2 weeks, if I recall, and I think the cost was less than $100. This was well worth it to me, since they re-shot the entire frame.
 

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This was an Ed Brown Bobtail housing in stainless. I left it blasted stainless to contrast with the black Kimpro frame. I haven't seen an aluminum bobtail housing, though there may very well be one out there.
 

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I've been contemplating building a commander size alloy framed bobtail 1911, with the MSH in alloy also. The only ones I've found for sale individually are from VZ grips (alloy MSH), but they're all for full-size. Isn't the mainspring shorter on the bobtails, so wouldn't the bore for it need to be shallower also? I suppose I could always plug and weld the bottom of the spring bore before reshaping - it's just a shame no one offers one already made. Sure don't want to substitute plastic parts.
 

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Yep, the Bobtail MSH uses the guts from an officers model MSH and the bore for the spring is more shallow that the full size. If you're going to by a full size MSH and cut/weld and reshape it I'd love to see pics along the way. Not that I doubt your ability, I just like the "how to's."
 

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mac10 & ditto....you now know that pictures are required. :rock:
That piece is long gone. I didn't care for the reduced surface areahen I shot it.
The guy I sold it to said it didn't last a week at his pawn shop.
 

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Anyone know if you can rent the MSH jig from Ed Brown or another source? Kind of an expensive item for what is going to end up being a one time operation for a single build.
 

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Anyone know if you can rent the MSH jig from Ed Brown or another source? Kind of an expensive item for what is going to end up being a one time operation for a single build.
I have seen them on eBay once or twice...

It can be done w/o the jig with careful and precise measuring. I bought the jig since it speeds set up. However, I use it quite frequently
 
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