1911Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the back of the safe I found a Glock 30s I remember hating. I took it out again just to be sure, and sure enough, I still hated it. :)

Sooo... I looked on Armslist for something to trade it for. Normal, right?

Then things got a little less normal.

Someone had put up for trade a S.A.M. ATI commander sized 1911.

Now in my book the worst 1911 is better than the best Glock, so I figured what the heck, and besides, it's not a good trade unless you're losing money, right?


So I did the trade, hardly looking at the gun, because who really cares, it's a 1911. I got lucky, and it ended up being the one with the Novak cuts. Bonus!


Did I shoot it before I tore it to pieces? Come on, it was like 8:00 at night by the time I'd picked the thing up! Who shoots after 8? The wife was feeling generous, and agreed to put the kids to bed and let me go play in the shop.

:rock:

So I opened up the cardboard box, threw the random crappy magazines inside in the trash, and started in on it.


The slide to frame fit was amazing. Seriously, the slide glided on the frame like it was on ice! This one was tight and smooth! OK, cool. what's next?

The barrel jiggled around in the bushing like a mortar in a pestle. I mean this thing was loose! I could just see the buckshot looking groups at 21'. This would never do.

So I dug around in my parts drawer until I came up with a shiny new Ed Brown commander bushing. Sweet! The fit to the slide was snug enough that it needed a wrench, and the fit to the barrel was just a bit tighter than that.

Mind you, I don't have a lathe, so I went after the bushing a little bit, and got a good fit, but wait, odd, the bushing only fit about an inch down the barrel before getting stuck... ? The barrel was smaller at the muzzle than it was at the chamber end... :mad:

Remember, I don't have a lathe, so whats a home spun dremel jockey to do?

I found my little belt sander type knife sharpener, removed the knife guide, leaving me with a pretty handy hand held belt sander, and I went through successive belts, carefully turning the barrel and moving up and down the shaft, avoiding the last 1/2" bringing the barrel down just enough to allow the bushing to glide after a little work on the polisher.

Then, after relieving the bushing a bit to eliminate a bit of barrel bounce, checked the lockup.

Tight.

A bit of polishing inside the bushing and try again? A nice solid lockup. Chamber end solid, bushing end solid, and super smooth action.

Pleased with myself, I moved on.

The trigger was awful. I mean really awful.

So I pulled the grips, ripped the frame apart, and through the guts away, saving the grip safety, since it was fit pretty well in my opinion.

Again, digging around in my drawer, I came up with the following:

STI sear, stainless
Wilson hammer, the concealement one a tad bit smaller than usual.
A random hammer strut, seemed ok.
A polymer STI trigger that I had taken out of something else, not liking it. ...Figured I'd give it another chance.
What looked like probably a wilson bulletproof sear spring, you know, the shiny, bulky looking one?
I couldn't find a decent looking disco, so I cleaned up an ugly looking disco, clearly MIM, but whatever.
Wilson blued thumb safety and oversized slide lock, which I had to turn down with sand paper until it fit like a not-oversized slide lock.
Wolff 16# recoil spring. (I cut it to fit and stoned the sharp little point)
Wilson square corner FPS
A couple of different extractors :cool:

Lastly, I found a bobtail MSH, and figured why not, lets put this stuff in a box and shake it, and see what comes out!

I rigged the frame up to the bobtail jig, drilled, filed, sanded, polished, etc, and a bit later had a bobbed frame. Then, after some work with a 30LPI checkering file, I had a checkered front strap. Mind you, this bit of my fun is understated. Checkering sucks. :)

Then, I started trying to put some parts in the gun, and oh man, was it a long night.

The cuts in the frame were not at all accommodating.

The sear and hammer had to be thinned. the frame had to be relieved for the
MSH, the Disco rattled in it's hole, what a MESS!

The extractor hole was tight, requiring sanding down the extractor in various places until it would fit. The extractor that came in the slide was soft like copper. I didn't even bother with it.

The cut for the FPS was so much smaller than normal that my gauge wouldn't fit, and the cut was such that the extractor was below the cut.:confused:

Best I could figure after trying a couple extractors to make sure it wasn't an oddball extractor, was to gently peen the extractor at the FPS cut to snug it up. This actually seems to have worked fine. The extractor is snug in it's home and tuned up just fine.

Tuning the ejector was a different story. I don't know what they made that part out of, but it was too hard for any file I had, so I had to shape it with my dremel, guessing, and not able to adjust it at the range.

Anyways.... after some work, I had the bits crammed in there, moving freely, so I buttoned it up, and fit the thumb safety.

Safety checks passing, I dry fired it a bit, since something felt weird.

There was a bizarre click in the trigger.

While holding the trigger back after dropping the hammer, there was a noticeable click at the beginning of the slide cycle.

Stumped, I checked another pistol, wondering if it was just late, and I was tired.. no, clearly, no click.

So... I checked the disco hole, and it was pretty loose, so I peened it a bit, and had what I thought would be a fixed trigger pull.

Nope. Ugly awful click.

After some more tinkering, I noticed that there was no click with the thumb safety removed. :scratch:

So, I went to work on the thumb safety, being not at all clear on what the problem might be.

After some time, I noticed that with the TS removed, the sear spring seemed awful close to the TS hole while working the trigger...

Sure enough, the top of the sear spring was bumping the safety, causing the goofy click. So, I relieved the TS in the location causing the problem, welded up the thumb safety lug where I'd taken too much off while trying to track down the stupid click, re-fit the thumb safety, and ended up with a 4# trigger. Nice and smooth with a solid reset. (I'd stoned the sear on my so, so cool true radius jig, and set the hammer hooks at .022)

Then, after more safety checks, I found that the grip safety was no longer functioning. Should I ignore it and move on? Nah, I, for one, like a working grip safety, so I opened it up and peened the tang on the grip safety, smoothed things out a bit, and put it back together again with a working, but really really soft junk metal grip safety. I'll keep an eye on it.

Then I put the gun away and went to bed. It was around 3:00 AM, and my wife was a lot warmer than my shop. :)

The next day, I grabbed a box of ammo, and went to check it out.


I have to say, this crappy little junk drawer pistol shoots as well as anything in the safe. Seriously! I should have taken pics of the targets. Fun!


So, here it is, the junk drawer ATI. I cleaned it up, fitted some pretty grips (from the same junk drawer) and cold blued it for pics.

Thanks for reading my super long junk drawer rant!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Nice job…and fun read. Thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Any one else have a junk drawer pistol story or pics?

I'm sure Im not the only one with a box of parts and a free evening now and then...:dope:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
Sure know to make a newbie feel like crap. I have no junk drawer with extra parts, and you compressed 6 months worth of my tinkering into one night.:bawling:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Wow you should apply to be Santa if you can get all that done in a night! Great project!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
To be honest, a lot of the work is only so-so.

I kept thinking jeez, it's just a ati.


The post was mostly a commentary on the strangeness of the cuts, and the fun of building from leftovers.

As much as I appreciate the compliments, if I were to try and do a nice job of it. It wouldn't have been in a single sitting.

Also, I fit the grips and touched up the blueing yesterday for the pics.

:) fun little project.

I'm actually pretty impressed with the frame/slide/barrel fit. The rest of the original parts were complete junk.

Wish I knew how to harden the grip safety so the tang wasn't so soft....

Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Nice post, very entertaining. I found the idea of a barrel not having the same OD the whole length to be rather alarming. I'm no smith, so I probably would have been scared to fire it without replacing it. Good for you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Nice post, very entertaining. I found the idea of a barrel not having the same OD the whole length to be rather alarming. I'm no smith, so I probably would have been scared to fire it without replacing it. Good for you!
Yea know, I never even considered that the barrel might have a problem. I just assumed that it was machined straight, and wore at the bushing.

I still believe that to be the case. If I remember correctly, it was barely a few thousandths smaller at the muzzle.
:shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
You've clearly got a better handle on it than I would. I imagine it's had a lot of rounds through it to wear like that. Pretty cool that you've given it new life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
You've clearly got a better handle on it than I would. I imagine it's had a lot of rounds through it to wear like that. Pretty cool that you've given it new life.
Also, I had in my box a barrel from another commander that hadn't been fit well and was loose in a different pistol that I considered reusing for this gun, but when I went to put it into the front of the slide, wouldn't even start in. Realizing that fitting a new barrel was going to be a nightmare, coupled with the original barrels nice fit at the lugs, I proceeded to make the one that came with it work.


As a side note, this reminds me of a beretta I sent in for repair. It went in for a broken locking lug. It came back repaired, but with a note from beretta saying that the barrel had been expanded from a followed squid, but had been examined and found safe for use.

Are barrels just not that vulnerable? I don't know. I sold that pistol the day after I got I back. Made me feel squeekish the idea of shooting it after tall that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,865 Posts
You're ordeal made me soooooo tired - and the only thing that relieved me in the end were the pics of a good looking 1911 and knowing it shot well. Wheewwww!!!

Good job - good luck with it!!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top