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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:17 am 
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Another several days and this one will be off to Glenrock Blue for a polished / matted blue, I'll be doing the prep work.... even though GB is the one place I trust to do that for me, they're kinda backed up. The barrel, hammer, and barrel bushing will get chromed.

Osage Orange FRAG grips-- I really dig this wood. Sometimes though the grain is so tight and the wood so yellow/orange that it's hard to see what you have. It really warms with age-- and sunlight. This set, I filled the grooves with modeling clay and put them in the window for a couple months, and you can see how much it darkens the wood where it was not masked, and brings out the character.

This 5-shot group probably won't impress National Match shooters but it does show the gun is very well zero'd at 28 yards. This is my fodder-grade handload, mixed brass, nothing too special. The best group I've fired with this gun sofar, a little better than this one, was with WW Ranger T JHP's (formerly Black talon).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:20 am 
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Sweet! Looking forward to seeing the finished pistol.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:00 pm 
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DANG!.....NOW THAT’S A BON-A-FIDE HUMDINGER!

Thank you for sharing Ned!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:05 am 
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Thats a nice one, I look forward to seeing the finished product.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:48 am 
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Ned,

You are one of a kind, sir! Love the frag on the squared trigger guard. Little ol'skool meets new skool...

Can't wait to see the finished gun.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:28 am 
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Way good shooting!

The Frag pattern and the squared trigger guard go quite well together.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:44 pm 
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I like it. I really like it!!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:45 am 
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The pistol, grips, and the shooting are all outstanding; well done Sir....


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:53 am 
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The squared guard looks outstanding, did you stretch it or weld in an insert?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:07 am 
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Tried stretching it while being pretty sure it wasn't gonna make it and it "dint" :shock:

Made a piece and had my guy weld it in. He's great with the TIG but it's hard to get him away from the laser welder these days. It's the one in the third pic of this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9918

As to the shooting, any time I can get under 2" at 28Y I'm pretty happy. Again it's not the stuff of Galactic Championships and plenty of guys can do better-- you know, the ones that shamelessly cheat by having younger, better eyes. :shock: I seem to be able to group as well today as I did fifteen years ago, well, nearly so anyway. I will confess to usually showing the best of the session, but this was the one and only that day, just a final, final confirmation of zero before I removed the sights to drill for tritium and other final steps. Every time I do this I feel I disprove the idea that the first shot, hand-cycled in, is "always out of the group". But when some guns are guaranteed to shoot, what, 1" at 50 yards....? Maybe I'm not shooting tight enough to notice. I sold my Ransom rest years ago, I didn't feel it was that relative to what I do here.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:02 am 
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The slow and tedious process of polishing, masking, blasting, redoing this and that. Making sure nothing is left undone because once it's on its way to Glenrock, it's too late! Not that I don't enjoy it, just that it goes very slowly because it's technique intensive and there ain't no shortcuts.

The other thing is, the more you perfect one area, the more the adjacent areas show their imperfections.

The stirrup cuts on this one were as good as any. Until I started putting a chamfer around the front of the slide, then I could see that the radius cutter used at the factory had a very slightly damaged spot, which got me looking more closely at the whole area. If the strirrup cut is angled up in relation to the line where the slide flat meets the slide top radius, that's OK as long as they are the same on each side; but if it slants down it looks all wrong and that's pretty common. I hadn't really "been to that spot" for a good look yet. On both sides this line was ramped down, making the flat wider, by about .007- .010. Doesn't sound like much but you can see it. So-- I stopped everything, re-cut the area, and stoned it back to smooth so blasting will have the desired effect. Now working on putting the chamfer back on the area at the end of the slide.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:12 pm 
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That little scratch coming out of the "." in ".45" was a big headache. It's probably not a quarter of a thou deep but it's running the wrong damned way.

I had determined I would try real hard on this one to polish it in such a way as to preserve the bumped-up, displaced metal around the rollmark, to keep that area little more as it came from Colt. I usually just take it down flat, it makes it all so much easier. When I know it's going to be a polished/ matted blue finish I go to lengths during the customizing process to minimize scratches that will be hard to get out later. Not sure I would do it again but I think I'll like the result.

The last three days are reminders-- why all-matte finished guns get done a little faster, and why when it's polished and matted it's nice to have someone else do it-- if you have someone you can trust it to.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:05 am 
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Back from bluing, back from chrome. There are still some things to do that need doing post-refinish, such as tritium in the sights, plunger tube installation.... doing anything on a gun with a high-polish blue is take-it-slow time. One little bump, one little slip, and it's re-do time. The bluing came out very, very nice, as I have come to expect from Glenrock. Pretty sure it was Mark Graff who first turned me on to them, thanks Mark!

Extractors-- every gun gets at least two. They get the gun's s/n and a little info on what kind of extractors they are, such as seen here-- "ORIG" meaning the original (yep it's a Series 80 extractor on a Series 70 gun and that's what I'd do if I were Colt). The other says "WC/BP" meaning wit's a Wilson Combat Bullet Proof.

Then each one gets a little dot after blasting so it can be seen without disassembly if the gun has extractor #1 or #2 in it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Pretty neat way of marking the extractors.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:05 am 
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At long last, going together. This is a big deal on a gun like this, after all the work put into the polish and matting, getting everything as close to perfect as possible, and then having Glenrock work their bluing magic on it. The final assembly, certain areas especially, is somewhat fraught with tension: don’t scratch it! If it was really just “putting it together” with hands that would be OK, but having to install the plunger tube and press in the sights, tap in the hammer strut and barrel link pins, well, one little slip and it’s a whole lot of do-over.
The chrome came out great; I love the contrast on a blued or black gun and it doesn’t hurt in terms of function and rust resistance.
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Installing the Extra Stout Plunger Tube. Easy enough and yet… technique intensive and a good place to drop something. The staker itself seems to, but does not, clamp the plunger tube down tightly onto the frame—that needs to be done independently, hence the toolmaker’s clamp at the back. Once everything is perfect, I torque to 7 ft-pounds to get the riveting effect.
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This guy has been very, very patient with me and that is greatly appreciated, esp. given that he has had a really bad experience with a very prominent 'smith who has his money and his gun, being way overdue and very unresponsive.... not anyone from this circle, I hasten to add.

I have more pics that I will put up over the weekend.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
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I have more pics that I will put up over the weekend.


Unique cut on the hammer. Weight reduction for faster lock time or... ?

Looking forward to the other pics.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:32 am 
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Yes to both, not like a difference would be noticed short of high-tech instrumentation but it has just become a little bit of a signature mod. Also I like to get the hammer face nice and smooth so during the first step doing that, the cut is easy to make. Note the other cut in the hammer for my Fallarrest™ system-- but it's barely visible here. This is a Harrison hammer but I modified it.

More on tbe Fallarrest™ here-
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9876


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:27 am 
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“DAT” gun. Full post will only be here on LTW.....

This one is pretty much done. Final zero is about all that’s left….. at this point in the process I really don’t want to shoot it much, so the sights are reinstalled to exactly where they were when I zero’d the gun with no finish, to speed the process with a minimum of rounds and no trial and error messing around.

My photography skills continue to evolve—sideways, I’m afraid…. I'm still learning and this series of photos was shot knowing my conditions were sub-par and there wasn’t much time. A slight camera upgrade results in a very slight upgrade in photos and a serious increase in the steepness of the learning curve. But, of course, all the dust, lint, smudges, imperfections and fingerprints come through very, very well.

It’s a day-long FRAG-a-thon!
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Mainspring housing is my own MSH-F:
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My logo and one I designed at the customer’s request. I made it somewhat reminiscent of the Mauser logo and others from the days of yore. After blasting, I went in and polished the bottom of the cuts to highlight the D, A, and T:
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“I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the Osage Orange tree”. Well OK, that’s a lie. But I did take some branches off it, dry them properly over along period of time, and have grips made with the FRAG pattern. RAASCO does these for me and they are everything I hoped they would be, plus extremely durable.
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Right side, overall. There’s just never enough light.
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EGW bushing and recoil spring plug, sculpted and swept back in a matching fashion, chromed.
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Stock Colt slide stops are fine in my opinion but on a case-by-case basis, some come through a little overly belt-sanded. Grip safety is from Guncrafter Industries, I like them because they are a little less heavy than most; thumb safety is my own with the Fallerst™ feature which mates with the Harrison hammer modified so that together, they will prevent the hammer from falling in the event of a sear or sear pin failure. Plunger tube is my own ESPT, Extra Stout Plunger Tube:
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I see mag catches done every which way. Mostly I see them angled to be low in front; I always felt the angle should go the other way, low in the back, because that's the direction the thumb is coming from that's going to push it. That is how I’ve been doing them. It’s just a personal opinion thing but either way the trigonometry is inescapable: when you make one side have a less-than-90° degree angle, the other side will have a more-than-90° angle, meaning that even if you round it off a little, it can still feel “kinda sharp”. I did something different on this one that I think will be my new standard although naturally, it’s a lot more work—it is slightly domed. Yes it’s a tiny thing but it’s really comfortable to use. I never ship a gun with a reduced-strength mag catch spring, I don’t that that’s appropriate for a carry gun, so less owie on the surface comes through as “worth it”.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:49 am 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
It’s a day-long FRAG-a-thon!

I'd say you have that beauty squared away - - - in every direction.

And all those less-than-obvious touches (e.g., mag release work) show the attention to detail

Super nice work!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Leaving these big....

The pistol is on a large chunk of Osage Orange-- a really heavy one. I would never put that entire thing in the stove, it might burn a hole in the bottom and then a hole halfway to China :shock:
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Just showing here how the controls also got the polish/mask/blast treatment, so the thumb contact surfaces are not polished. It actually does make some dif in traction. Probably the last pics since it's on the way now.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:26 pm 
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I keep coming back and stare, slack-jawed; at all of the phenomenal detail....it's everywhere! The squared TG is soooo nice and I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing the next one!


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