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Frankingun barrel project (long)

1608 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BBBBill
Here is an interesting project that I thought I would share with you. After falling in love with 1911’s around 4 years ago, I found that I wasn’t shooting any of the other pistols in my collection, so I sold them. This left me in the unusual position of having money for firearms “stuff” but not needing anything. I started looking for a new project. After a little research I decided it would be “fun” to own a suppressor. I live in a Class 3 friendly state (TN) so it was just a matter of doing all the proper paper work and getting the needed signatures (which was actually much easer than I thought it would be). The suppressor is at my dealer awaiting final approval by the government.

This leads me up to my project. I have always preferred the compact 1911’s, I own two, a Kimber stainless aluminum compact (which is my carry/IDPA gun), and a Kimber stainless compact that was my first 1911. I wanted to put the suppressor on the stainless compact and keep my other Kimber as it was.

Now I already knew no one made a drop in threaded bull barrel for the Kimber due to its unusual size (larger than a Officers smaller than a Commanders). My first thought went to welding a threaded extension on to the front of my existing barrel. The suppressor manufacture told me that that would not be a good idea, OK now for plan 2.

Plan 2:
Put a Commander length slide on the compact Kimber, and take a standard length barrel and cut it down to commander length + ½” for the threads.

I purchased a stainless Comanche length slide, night sights, and fitted match bushing from Les Baer. I was able to talk with Les about what I was planning to do and he was both helpful and friendly.

I purchased a standard length (5”) match barrel from Ed Brown; I wanted to go with stainless because the suppressor that I ordered worked best with 5cc of water in it. What I didn’t realize (having only had bull barrels in the past) is that a standard barrel flairs slightly at the muzzle to fit snuggly in the front bushing.
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So, I went back to Ed Brown and this time I ordered the 5” bull barrel and a mandrel that allowed you to put it on a lathe. Using the dimensions off the other barrel (I’ll sell it later) I turned the bull barrel down to the proper size and flared it to match my bushing (which I had also opened up some). I then sent the barrel off to Advanced Armaments to be cut, crowned, and threaded. I thought about doing it myself but Advanced Armaments guarantees its suppressors for life only if they are used with barrels that they sell, thread, or check. I’m glad that I sent it to them as they did a far better job than I could have, and their prices were reasonable. They also included a nice matching thread protector.

I then fitted the slide to the frame (which was a pain because they were not as close as I though they would be) I ended up having to take a little off the frame in order to get it to fit. I guess I’ll be selling the old “Upper” as well.

I the process of doing all this, I managed to scratch up the nicely mirrored sides of the slide (metal filings got on the wood blocks I was using in my vice). So... I got out the Dremel and did a freehand radical deburr on the slide and then bead blasted it. Yes, you may cringe but it’s my project and I can do what I want to. It actually turned out quite nice.

With some helpful advice from this forum I fitted the Barrel to the slide and frame. I had to remove some material from the front of the lower locking lugs in order to match the profile of a officer’s barrel. I just did it freehand with a Dremel as it was not anything that required a precision fit.

I put a 21 Lb spring in it and took off to the range. Went through 100 rounds without any failures (I was surprised) I didn’t have any targets but I could hit cans with it at around 20 yards so I’m thinking that the accuracy is probably pretty good. Upon disassembly I noticed that the slide was hitting the back of the guide rod pretty hard so I’ve replaced the spring with a 23Lb one. For the suppressor to cycle the slide I may have to go back to the 21 Lb spring. I also plan on replacing the guide rod, as the Comanche length rod is a little short for this frame/slide combination.

Here are some pictures; I’ll post some more when I get the suppressor:

Comments? Questions?

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Good looking gun. I suppose since you've been talking to suppressor folks, they've mentioned to you the need for a Neilsen "recoil regulator" to allow the gun to function in semi mode. Suppressors on tilting barrel handguns usually will cause the gun to fail to cycle without one. No biggy for a toy, but if you don't like racking the slide after every shot, you'll need one.

I take it that you purchased an A.A.C. suppressor. Can you explain why you picked them over some of the other suppressor manufacturers, such as AWC or gemtech.

Just curious as I have played with one or more from all of the more well known makers and was wondering what made you pick them?

Thanks, Jim Hanson.

Go Rogers Precision, You won't go wrong!!!!!
My Workplace-->http://www.McMfamily.com
From the Advanced Armament webpage:

The ECLIPSE silencer from Advanced Armament is the latest in a series of lightweight, ultra high performance silencers. An offshoot from the two-year R&D program focused on developing a silencer for the H&K UMP .45 ACP submachine gun, the Eclipse is the most efficient tool for eliminating the sound and flash of .45 ACP semiautomatic pistols. Introducing 5cc of water to the rear of the Eclipse enables it to deliver an unprecedented 40 dB reduction for approximately three magazines (20-25 rounds) of use. The Eclipse generates sufficient back pressure to reliable cycle the 1911, Sig P-220, and H&K Mk-23 .45 ACP, without the added complexity and expense of recoil enhancing equipment. Constructed of anodized aerospace quality aluminum alloy, the Eclipse features AAC's signature stainless steel rear mount, to obviate the problem of premature thread-wear common with all-aluminum .45 ACP silencers. When combined with a set of AAC's adjustable sights, the Eclipse is the perfect tool for tactical and sport shooters alike.

Of course I havn't tried it yet so the jury is still out on that one.
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I already have a Gemtech M4-96d and have been happy with it. Initially the decision was based on the fact that the only local class 3 dealer was already set up with them and not with AWC (he also gave me a good price). I liked the idea of not needing the recoil device although as I mentioned above we don't know that yet. The stats were impressive and I liked the stainless mount idea. Most importantly when I called them up to talk with them about the project they were willing to talk with me in great detail (good customer service). Having examined the suppressor at my dealers I am happy with the fit and finish and as I mentioned above they did great work on my barrel.


Edited because I can't spell and type at the same time

[This message has been edited by Theo (edited 11-15-2001).]
How about a shot with the suppressor on it?
First off, I haven't picked up the suppressor yet, I'm still "pending" with the Government. The paper work went in just prior to the Sept 11 incendent. I have no reason to belive that I won't be approved(I've done this once before). I'll post pics and a range report when everything goes through.

Secondly, this project was put togeather for the novelity of it(toy factor, as much as any firearm can be considered a "toy"). I really have no need for a "tatical" pistol and I'm not a Mall Ninja Wantabe. This firearm will probally spend its life tucked away in the gun safe, coming out for demonstration purposes, and when I want to shoot around my dogs (they get hearing damage too). I have always liked working on firearms and this gave me an excuse to do something new.

Kool! If they've found a way around the need for the Neilsen device, so much the better. I'll be looking for your updates once you have it in hand.
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