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Discussion Starter #1
In AH, the article about the Vickers gun contained two processes referred to as the miller hard fit and peened rails as opposed to squeezing the slide. I was wondering if anyone had a description of these two methods? Sounded very interesting. Thanks.
 

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I answered this on the pistolsmith forum as well. It is simply the method tuaght by John Miller. Old fashioned AMU method, he does a course on it, but to get in the class is near impossible.
 

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I have not read the article in AH. But when I was being taught about barrel fitting years ago most of the smiths at that time used the term hard fit. What they were referring to was barrel lock up and it meant that the barrel would lock up at both ends as tight as a bank vault. If it was not tight at both ends it was not hard fit and you would need a bushing wrench to turn and remove the barrel bushing on a hard fit barrel.
As for peening the rails I believe they are talking about the frame rails which is a method of thighting the slide to frame fit. I was taught this will have very little efect on the mechanical accuracy in a 1911 pistol. I was taught it will reduce the size of the group the pistol will fire by only 10%. If you have a gun shooting a three inch group and you reduce it by 10% that equates to .300 of an inch as you can see this is not much. Also rail peening can cause stress cracks. I believe if one feels they must tighten the rails on a gun the best way would be to weld the rails and then machine them to tighter tolerances.
Regards, Bob Hunter www.huntercustoms.com
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mr. Hunter, Thank you for taking the time to answer me. That was exactly the kind of description I was looking for.

Thanks Again!
Shane
 

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Bob
Do you offer weld up slide to frame fit?
I have seen many failed slides from the squeze method.
Pean fit , weld em up or rail em.
that seems the choices.
geo ><>
 

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Shane45 you are welcome.
George I do not feel that my welding experience is good enough for me to be welding on guns. I always tell my customers that this type of work I farm out and leave to the experts such as yourself. However years ago when I was racing motorcycles I used to change the rake angle on the frames by cutting off the neck and welding it back on. As luck would have it I never had one break. But I do not claim to be a welder.
Regards, Bob Hunter www.huntercustoms.com
 

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Originally posted by Hunter Customs:
I have not read the article in AH. But when I was being taught about barrel fitting years ago most of the smiths at that time used the term hard fit. What they were referring to was barrel lock up and it meant that the barrel would lock up at both ends as tight as a bank vault.
Regards, Bob Hunter www.huntercustoms.com
That means one thing to this barrel fitting guy. That the feet of the barrel must be level and very close to the slide stop. The bushing has to be reamed very carefully and OD has to be "soapy" and perfect with the parent slide. The problem with tight level feet is that during initial fit is obvious. The barrel seemingly hesitates to go into battery. It looks like the feet are contacting/bumping the slide stop. With a fractionally loose bushing. The slide moves into full battery butter. That is a balancing act between the barrels feet and the barrel bushings ID. Nick

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Originally posted by Hydra-shokz:
Good article in AH.Sweet pistol.I want one.I wonder what the lead time would be on a L.A. Vickers?


SHOKz
Larry Vickers was quoting about 3 to 3 1/2 years prior to the article coming out. This was on full guns, so may be a little quicker if looking for some simple modifications.
 

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Maybe after I have a few custom 1911's I would be able to wait 3 years or so.But for now I have to deal with getting through the next 8 months.

That was a good spread.My favorite detail was the serrations on the rear of the slide.I can see why his guns are so desirable.

SHOKz
 

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I, too, read the American Handgunner article on Vickers' "full bore" 1911. I didn't understand some of what was quoted ... I'm still not sure I do, regarding peening rails vs squeezing slides. But I was salivating for one of his guns by the time I finished the article.

I wonder if you have to pay up front? Maybe I could use the 3-3.5 years wait time to save up the ~$4000 the gun would cost.


Hunter, do I understand that the welding/re-machining technique you recommend means that the slide then "rides" the machined weld material itself? If so, is that durable and reliable?


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jpwright,

You don't have to pay up front...Just email Larry and he will put you on his wait list.
I would use the time to save up the money and find what you want to build the gun on...Right now he says he likes the Wilson frame and slide or the Springfield Mil-spec
 

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I have a question about the vickers full house guns. Was the springfield milspec in the article a full house gun? I don't think it was because he said he does hand checkering on them and the checkering on the springfield was sent away to be machined. And what base guns has Mr. Vickers used in the past as base guns for his custom and full house guns? Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.
 

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OCG1911, thanks. I thought I had read that he sent it out to have it done. I don't remember reading in that whole article that is was a full house gun. Oh well, not the first time I've been wrong.
 

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Actually, the AH article was somewhat unclear. When Vickers hand-checkers, HE does it. As he said, when it's machine checkered, he sends it to Pete Single, arguably the best machine checkerer around (Pete has built guns, too). I got the impression at first that the AH gun was full-house, but now think it isn't quite. It might instead be Larry's "signature" gun, which he parkerizes. In any case, a sweet piece of work.

Btw, in the AH piece, Vickers clearly states that fitting the slide/frame from an oversize set is preferable to peening, squeezing, rails, etc. A no-brainer. That's the way I'd prefer to go, though it's true that barrel fit is far more important in accurizing the gun.

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Originally posted by jpwright:
I, too, read the American Handgunner article on Vickers' "full bore" 1911. I didn't understand some of what was quoted ... I'm still not sure I do, regarding peening rails vs squeezing slides.

, do I understand that the welding/re-machining technique you recommend means that the slide then "rides" the machined weld material itself? If so, is that durable and reliable?

Peening Rails. (This one method we offer, I do not know Mr Vickers, or what method he uses)
We made rail spacers in .001 steps. We slide the hard spacer into the rail (rc62) and pean the rail down till it makes contact with the spacer. At this point the steel has no where to go and it flows out the side. You pick the spacer using a rail mike to check the thickness of the rail on that individual slide.(usually .114 to .118) You can than grind the side of the rail on a surface grinder to the width of the inside of the slide. (for instance caspians run .7535)
you are grinding the high spots that you made.

Squeez (we do not use this method)
you set the slide up in a special fixture that contacts the bottom of the rail from the outside, than in a vice you have to squeez the slide in. It will spring back but not to where it started. I have seen several slides split the length of the rail. I have also seen quickie jobs done where the offending party squeezes only the area behind the thumb safety so the gun feels tighter.

You have accurails where they cut the slide to accomodate a rail that fits into the frame ( a polished piece of drill rod). They also machine the frame for the rail. Most use a bend (they heat the rod to bend it and sometime they crack)at the front to attach the rail to the frame. The slide rids on the rail on the sides and the bottom. Depending on the dimensions, the slide rides on the top of the rail or the frame also, this is where you see most of the wear.

Weld up.
You weld pads on all four corners of the frame. for the first 1 1/2"
you measure the slide inside width rail height, and machine the frame to that dimension. We use a carbide T slot cutter to work and true the inside of the rail. First we indicate the bottom rail. than we take .001 to clean that surface, than move up the appropriate amount and mill the bottom of the top rail. the sides we surface grind to size. Caspian slides are Really nice for all this type of work as they are very strait!
Colt's are much harder to work with as they usually arc at least .010 in the length of the rail.

To answer your question, if you weld or pean you won't loose or crack a rail. and Yes the slide will mostly ride on the welded pads you put on.

hope this helps
geo ><>
 

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Hi JJ

We weld the sides and bottom of the top rail.
Boland and Bruce Gray use to weld the top and sides. If you could gauge it well You could probably weld the side bottom and top. that way if the rail didn't just wear but if it actually moved up as the gun loosened?
the contact from the bottom to the top of the top rail it would still be tight. If the slide is really strait.
geo ><>
 
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