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Anybody ever have problems with a pistol after it was refinished?

My friend had his mildly customized 70 series Colt 1911 sent out to a gunsmith to install a new dovetailed front sight and to have the slide, frame, mag-well and bushing re-blued. It came back about 5 or 6 weeks later and the pistol looks great but started to have occasional problems with FTF and FTE for no apparent reason (about every 30 or 40 rounds). It has been fired about 600-700 rounds since returning and reliability problem has not gotten any better. Also, the accuracy of the pistol has gone from 4” or less to about 7” at 50 yards when using Federal 185gr match ammo. This pistol used to be about as 100% reliable as 1911 pistol could be with any reasonable factory ammo or handloads and extremely accurate. He called the gunsmith and explained the problem and was told the gun would need to be fired for a while to “break-in” and to call him back if he still has problems after about 1,000 rounds had been fired.

He tried different magazines, ammo, new extractor, recoil and hammer spring but made no difference. He disassembled and re-assembles the pistol and no difference. He checked each part (barrel, bushing, etc.) to make sure it was the same part he had sent and it looks to be same. Only thing he can tell is that the barrel bushing seems to be a little tighter fit to the frame and barrel.

Anybody else ever have problems after re-finishing their pistol? Any ideas on what the cause could be?
 

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I had my gun worked and refinished. It runs without problems, Of course, I also opted for a "reliability package" as part of the work.

With the limited work done to the gun, it doesn't sound like the mods in and of itself should have contributed to the accuracy problems your friend is seeing, except for the bushing install. Done wrong, it can impact accuracy; done right, it can improve it.

As far as the FTFs and FTEs are concerned, more information would be helpful, for example:

1. How many rounds did he put through the gun in stock condition? How was reliability then (quantify it)?

2. How many rounds did he put through the gun when it got "mildly customized" (and what mods did he have done then)? How was the reliability then (again quantify it)?

3. What spring weights did he use?

4. What was the extractor tension?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Only mod done to the pistol by the gunsmith who refinished it was to install the front sight.

Answers to your other questions are as follows:

1. In factory stock condition it was fired over 3-4,000 rounds with no reliability problems.

2. Couple years later he had a Barsto barrel, link and bushing installed by Irv. It also had a trigger job done to about 4 pounds(changed hammer), lowered ejection port, larger thumb safety, beaver tail grip safty installed and a Bomar adjustable sight installed (front sight too). It was then fired over 10,000 rounds without any problem and great accuracy. Several months ago he installed a S&A magwell, changed the firing pin and fitted a new extractor. He has since fired about 2,000 rounds with no problem.

3. He and I both use 16 1/2 or 17 pound recoil spring in 5" 1911 pistols.

4. Extractor tension is not known but it does have sufficient tension and not excessive.

He shoots mostly his mild target load in this pistol (200gr cast SWC at around 800fps or 230gr RNL at around 760fps) and some Federal 185gr target ammo.

This pistol is a real 70 series Government model and not the "new" 70 series that are produced now.
 

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A blue job wouldn't affect reliability at all, nor the other work the guy was paid to do. I'm guessing the 'smith in question broke something while working on the gun and won't own up to it. For the 'smith to claim the minimal work he did would require a break-in is just a cop out.
 

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Sent a SA to Metalife for refinishing after fitting beavertail and match grade bbl. It was 100% reliable when I sent it and 100% when I got it back.

Refinishing should have no effect on reliability or accuracy.

Mine was so pretty when I got it back, I think it was MORE accurate???

Byrd
 

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I had one that came back from bluing unreliable. He had beadblasted the frame and slide rails along with the outer contours. It was a fitted gun and I had to have FSG re-lap the slide to frame to get it to run.

A thousand rounds of breakin is ridiculous. It is his way of saying "Go away and leave me alone."
 

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I hate myself for thinking this and even more for publicizing my suspicions, but it really sounds like something else was done - wittingly or unwittingly - beyond the finish job, that now affects proper functioning. Improper prepping of mating surfaces such as described by Jim is the first place I'd look...
 

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I bet the reliability and accuracy problem could be attributed to the bushing. I'd further bet that there is at least an even chance that you didnt get the same bushing back as you sent in.

Check the barrel/bushing fit for springing. Also check and see if there seems to be any unusual rubbing to indicate a mis-fit between the parts.

Just some ideas...

Brian
 

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After a refinishing job that required blueing, water displacing oil must be used to remove any water from the parts. This has caused several guns to not function properly if left onn the parts during reassembly. Try solvent on the entire pistol followed with light oil that you normally use and reassemble. This has cured most problems that appear after refinishing.

xx
 

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I am thinking the same as jedibrain. It sounds like your smith may have tightened the bushing or put in a new one and it is not allowing the barrel the freedom of movement it needs. The barrel will be forced into position anyway, but is slightly bent (sprung) in the process. This could cause the problems you are seeing, as the barrel springing not only affects accuracy, but offers resistance to slide movement.

Rather than fight with the gunsmith, I would just try another bushing (any old one will do) and see if that fixes your problem.

If it does, then a bit of study is needed to see just where the tighter bushing needs to be relieved.

Jim
 
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