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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 'kitchen table' 1911 that I picked up several years ago used; a 779 slide on a Caspian frame. Its a solid, reliable, accurate shooter; no complaints for a <$300 gun.

I'm thinking this may be a good foundation to send off to a good 1911 smith for a project gun. I'd like to have a 5" high polish blue or black chrome gun; something a cut above a straight workhorse gun. My only concern it that the left side of the slide has a toolmark (I'm assuming) in it that is too deep to simply be polished out. It runs vertically from about 1/3 of the way down the flat, upwards to where the slide top starts to roll over.

My questions for the experts here are:
- Can this flaw be filled with a weld, and then ground and polished out?
- If so, will the repair be noticeable with a polished blue or black chrome finish?
- Would the process of filling the blemish with a weld damage or weaken the structure of the slide?
- And finally, assuming the flaw is repairable, is it worth the effort and money to try to turn this "bargain" gun into a "nice" gun?

Any input would be much appreciated.
 

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Post a pic. Maybe that whole side can be polished or ground down like so. If you want a high polish blue, filling the scratch with anything will likely show when blued. I think what matters most is how deep the mark is, not really how long.



As far as it being worth it, I usually end up charging extra when something has already been smithed on. Depending on the smith of course.
 

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I would get a quote or two, but your best bet may be to get a new slide.
 

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Post pics. Surface grinding can remove a lot of imperfections. I would definitely post pictures and wait for additional opinions before proceeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll try to get some pics tonight.

It is more that what I would consider a 'surface imperfection'. The damage is (without actuarially measuring, just going off feel) probably 25-50% deeper that the stamped part nomenclature. That's why I'm thinking that grinding may not work. I'd assume both sides would have to be worked to maintain some semblance of symmetry. I'm also assuming that doing so would significantly alter the slide dimensions.

Note, I'm making a lot of assumptions, hence soliciting input from those that do this for a living.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tough to say without pics. Typically, roll marks on a slide are around .005-.010 deep. Are you saying that your imperfection is deeper than that? That is deep.
I believe it is, judging strictly by touch. I don't have the means to actually measure the depth. That's why I was thinking a welded fill of some sort may be the solution.

As a follow up, how much can be ground off the flats without affecting the integrity or profile of the slide?

Hopefully, I'll get some decent pics up this afternoon.

I appreciate the feedback.
 

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The slide I pictured used to have Kimber roll marks. I imagine I took .005-.007 off the entire side.

I would imagine you would have to remove quite a bit before the structural integrity of the slide would be in jeopardy. The only thing I would worry about would be the barrel bushing lug slot but those generally have .050 or more material between the side of the slide and the lug cut out.

Something else to consider is what style cocking serrations you have. Colt and Springfield serrations sit below the slide flat and if you clean up the slide sides too deep, you run the risk of dulling the serrations.

When I worked at CCS we would wipe out thin or uneven roll marks all the time and re roll them. There was only one instance I can think of where the slide was too thin and the bushing lug slot became exposed. It takes removing a TON of material to expose the bushing lug slot. Think of it this way, people machine in Hi Power cuts all the time and the bushing lug slot doesn't get machined into and you are generally removing .025 or more depending on slide thickness at the lug slot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Post a pic. Maybe that whole side can be polished or ground down like so. If you want a high polish blue, filling the scratch with anything will likely show when blued. I think what matters most is how deep the mark is, not really how long.

As far as it being worth it, I usually end up charging extra when something has already been smithed on. Depending on the smith of course.
I finally got around to getting a picture... Ideally, I'd like to have the NSN number removed as well.
 

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That doesn't look like a tooling mark, it looks like a flaw in the material the slide is made out of. Is it possible that the slide is a cast part? Really looks like a casting flaw to me.
 

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No way you can remove that. Too deep. It could be welded and annealed so that it doesn't show when blued. I would think a new slide would be in order.
Good Luck
Jay
Elite Custom Guns
 

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New guy here and no expert, But also think casting flaw.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
While I'm far from an expert on such things myself, I don't believe its a cast slide. My reasoning is that it was produced as a replacement part for USGI 1
M1911A1s under a government contract, hence the '779...' National Stock Number. To the best of my knowledge, the mil spec for the 1911 mandated a forged slide and frame. Those with more knowledge of such things can confirm or deny.

To me, it looks as if the edge of a grinding belt or disk nicked the slide...
 

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That number is NOT a national stock number. That is a drawing, or part number. That looks a great deal like a casting void.

Is there a TZ or an M stamped on the slide as well?

About 15 years ago, there were a bunch of these slides being sold as surplus pieces.
 

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There all kinds of bogus GI parts floating around. I haven't personally seen a bogus slide, but that doesn't mean they're not out there.
That said, I've also seen lots of real GI parts that had surface flaws and poor finish that were accepted for use. One replacement slide on a gun in my arms room had so many machining artifacts that it looked to have been chiseled from a block of steel with a dull machete.
Further inspection of the slide might reveal whether it is indeed cast/bogus or a forged slide with some cosmetic damage and a refinish.
 

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That looks pretty deep. I've taken guns to my belt sander before and before I knew it, my cocking serrations were half gone, but it didn't get into the bushing slot. So as Evo said, you do have quite a bit of room there. But flat serrations would probably look worse than that casting flaw. Up to you dude....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That number is NOT a national stock number. That is a drawing, or part number. That looks a great deal like a casting void.

Is there a TZ or an M stamped on the slide as well?

About 15 years ago, there were a bunch of these slides being sold as surplus pieces.
You are correct; it is a part number, rather than NSN- I misspoke.

The markings you asked about are present: TZ on the right side of the slide, just forward of the cocking serrations, and M on the top, forward of the rear sight.

So, can I safely presume that it IS a USGI replacement slide and if so, that it is a forged, rather than cast, part?

As for the depth, judging solely by feel, the damage appears to be about as deep as the 779 stamping. Of note, the damage does extend over the flat and onto the top slightly, though not nearly as deep.

My reason for asking about repairing the damage is that the gun is a solid, reliable, and accurate shooter, built on a Caspian frame. I picked it up on the cheap several years ago, and thought it may make a good base for nice, polished blued gun without breaking the bank.
 

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Just opinion, nothing more:

If I were to employ the services of a professional gunsmith, one with this level of refurbishment skills, I would want to start with either a better foundation or with a foundation of historical or personal importance.

It's just as costly to work on a compromised/damaged foundation, if not more so, than to start with clean, "in the white", top tier components.

Again, just opinion.

And, as you've described , your gun already has excellent functional utility as it is now ... I'd focus on that quality, use it as such, and save your money for a different project.
 

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TZ marked components were made by Israeli Military Industries. Generally very good parts forged from good steel. You seem to have one with a cosmetic defect. Whether that is correctible with surface grinding/sanding or not would depend on a hands on evaluation by someone knowledgeable.
 
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