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Hi everybody, i placed an order a few weeks back for a stainless Caspian slide and frame. I been ordering parts slowly. During this time though, i been reading a lot of negativity about stainless not being the best option for a 1911 due to galling. I would like to know some experiences from some people that have done these projects and how the postol has held up. I guess if anything i will use this one as a learning process.
 

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I have also successfully built several Foster Stainless/Stainless pistols. They must be built with more care than carbon steel combinations because of the greater propensity to gall. I don't beat them around when fitting the frame and slide, and also increase the clearances slightly between the two. I also use a very fine stone on the rails as another galling deterrent.

Take your time, be careful and you will be fine.
 

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IronMike's comment on galling is a good one. I had a slight issue on one of my builds when trying to fit the slide to the frame. Stainless will gall if you try to force a not-quite-there frame to the slide.

The sharpie becomes your friend and you just need to go slow on the fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
IronMike's comment on galling is a good one. I had a slight issue on one of my builds when trying to fit the slide to the frame. Stainless will gall if you try to force a not-quite-there frame to the slide.

The sharpie becomes your friend and you just need to go slow on the fitting.
Thanks guys, this is great information. Advise taken for the fitting process but, once its fitted what should the tolerance look like? Is there a standard number i should be looking for?
 

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Thanks Desmo for the nice concurrence.

I usually build carbon steel frame/slide 1911s with no perceptible play between frame/slide, but with no drag (you can probably achieve this on about your 50th build). On stainless/stainless guns I strive for slightly perceptible vertical & lateral play between frame/slide for galling avoidance. My early builds got this whether I wanted it or not!

Also important is the type lubricant used. Some lubes are specifically for stainless. I use Breakfree LP, not CLP, as it states on the bottle "for rapid fire automatic and STAINLESS FIREARMS."

Hope these thoughts help.

Mike
 

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Hi everybody, i placed an order a few weeks back for a stainless Caspian slide and frame. I been ordering parts slowly. During this time though, i been reading a lot of negativity about stainless not being the best option for a 1911 due to galling. I would like to know some experiences from some people that have done these projects and how the postol has held up. I guess if anything i will use this one as a learning process.
I know this is going back a couple of months, but my first and so far only 1911 build was with a Caspian stainless slide and Foster frame. I'd like to say I'll never do that again, but who can tell what the future holds. Suffice it to say that my second build that I'm now contemplating will consist of carbon steel frame and slide.

I'm no trained gunsmith or metalworker, but I can read, watch Youtube, think, tinker, and figure things out. Bottom line is that I did finish that build, it shoots well (around 2" at 25yd off a not really stable ransom rest I borrowed), and it's so far functioned perfectly. Getting there was a PITA. I had the slide gall and stick to the rails three or four times while I was fitting them. All of the techniques that I'd see on the web for fitting slides and frames tightly, ie: getting them close enough to start using stones and then pushing them on tight with lapping compound, tapping back off with a mallet if it's too tight to get off by hand, etc. are absolutely terrible advice for stainless, at least if I'm the one doing it. When the slide stuck to the frame I had to beat the crap out of the back of the slide with a rubber mallet (didn't hurt it) to get it off, and the little tiny spots that had actually welded themselves together dragged and created little furrows in the frame rails that I had to correct.

I got the furrows stoned down and now there's just one or two little spots where you can see a little pit or slight depression where the galling had ripped out a little stainless, but it's not prominent, the slide and frame fit very well, slide well, etc. I'd like to say there's no noticeable vertical or horizontal play but if I'm really careful and move it very deliberately there's just the slightest play. So far the gun has a few hundred rounds through it and it's working beautifully. I was actually shocked when it worked at all, given I'd had my grubby mitts with stones and files all over each and every single part that wasn't a spring or a screw or pin.

Anyhow, yeah I'm a newb and obviously trained gunsmiths or more advanced hobbyists than me can do stainless while not suffering the galling and whatnot that I suffered, but they pull it off by not doing things the way I did them.

Anyhow, I pulled off a stainless 1911 as my first pistol build, but it was a chore dealing with the issues of stainless, and I don't fancy doing it again anytime soon. Gunsmiths and advanced hobbyists might chuckle and look at my rails and see the slight evidence left behind from my mistakes and shake their heads, but the gun functions beautifully and is more accurate than I ever hoped it would be. But it'll be carbon steel for me next.
 
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