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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if it’s possible to “replace” checkering on a front strap? I have a Series I lightweight Kimber (w/ Aluminum frame) with 20lpi checkering on the front strap. I like the gun a lot, but do not like 20lpi checkering at all – too abrasive for my taste. I’d hate to get rid of the gun because of it, so I’d like to know if it’s possible to remove existing 20lpi checkering and re-checker the front strap w/ 30lpi checkering (or maybe some other form of treatment, such as snakeskin, scallops, etc.). Has anyone done it? Is it safe to do so, since that part of the frame will now be thinner than it’s supposed to be, especially on an aluminum frame? Any of the gunsmiths here would be willing to take on a job like that?
Thanks in advance, and Happy Holidays.
Alex.
 

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I'm taking a guess Alex...
Your pistol is a desirable one, sell it at a fair price and buy another just like it. Modify the new one as you see fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tracy,
That is certainly one of options I'm considering, but I really like this Kimber and it'll be hard to replace.
 

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I am not a gunsmith, but I think that if you removed the checkering and retextured the frontstrap some way, it would end up paper thin. I wouldn't do it. BUT...

I had the same problem although on a steel gun. FLG took care of it with a large but fine file. He flattened the diamonds by about 1/3 of their height and Oxpho-blued. It is MUCH more comfortable and still has plenty of traction.

I know that on your gun it would leave bare aluminum showing, which is not easy to touch up. You would have to re-anodize or coat the whole receiver to get it to match. I think it would be worth it to hang onto a gun you KNOW is satisfactory, Series II complications and factory quality being what they are.

Or you could just use wrap-around grips. I have Pachmayrs on a Caspian with coarse, sharp factory machine checkering.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jim,
I tried wrap-around grips, but since it’s one of my carry guns, I didn’t like them because they are too bulky and snag on cover garments.
 

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Aleko, included in EGWs services is the mod you're looking for. They will provide a 30 lpi front strap (Hi-grip insert)

http://www.egw-guns.com/egw.htm

Go to the menu bar in below left ("1911 Services") and clik on "repairs."

George's reputation is impeccable.
 

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I think the Kimber Alum frames are 7075, hence not weldable. You can take down the points and use Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black to touch up.

Bob Sigmon
 

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I have heard of 30 LPI and 40 LPI being filed off and re-checkered. It all depends on the depth of the checkering. I vote for one of the following options:

1. Have a smith knock the tops off of the diamonds and re-anodize.
2. Put grip tape over the front strap to cover the checkering and provide grip.
 

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oops. missed the "aluminum" part. sorry.
 

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Teddy Jacobson has an epoxy bonded frontstrap that he guarantees will not come loose. You could get that installed and then poly finish over it to match..should work out fine
 

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I have checkered over a previous bad job of checkering before, so it can be done. The key is the thickness of the frontstrap. 30 lpi checkering will be at a depth of .021 to .022". Measure before you start to be sure there is sufficient frontstrap metal after the 20 lpi checkering is removed. It is likely that you will be cutting it very close. All frames are slightly (some a lot) different in their frontstrap thickness.

Rgds,
Slo cat
 

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Teddy Jacobson has an epoxy bonded frontstrap that he guarantees will not come loose. You could get that installed and then poly finish over it to match..should work out fine
Epoxy is very difficult to reliably bond to aluminum. The only way to do it reliably is a p2 etch (sulfuric and phosphoric acid) followed immediately by a strontium chromate epoxy primer.

You might be better off with getting the tips of your 20 LPI checking dehorned and then having the received refinished. As an alternative, perhaps one of the Wilson bolt-on checkered frontstraps may work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everybody for your advice. It looks like the frame will have to be refinished regardless of which way I go, so it may not be worth the effort and the price tag it’ll come with (even if I just take down checkering points myself, I’ll still have to send it off to have it refinished). I guess I’ll keep shooting it for now and see if I can get used to it, and if not…. [talking about wanting to sell a gun is not allowed here]. ;)
 
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