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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:10 am 
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The stove, the cabin it is in, the rifles and the camp are all older than both hunters, I'd bet.

Classics using classics, in a classic setting.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:39 pm 
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Why does it take so long, custom 1911 work? Well…. it doesn’t always have to, but sometimes I go about things in such a way that it just…. does. Certain tasks in 1911 smithing, I am liable to do it one way one time and another way another time. I’m always trying to improve my methods… to do things better, and yes, faster, but better always takes precedence. Sometimes honestly I just enjoy seeing how close I can come to getting something as good as I can make it. The barrel in this pic came with a great finish on the outer diameter—many look great, all silver and shiny, but what you really have is a pretty-looking grooved barrel where each groove has a great finish but it’s a series of grooves nonetheless. Most barrels I see are this way. It’s hard to see the grooves, they are tiny, the result of the tool bit being fed along the axis of the barrel. I counted the grooves on one recently and from it you can deduce the feederate used—in that case it was .004 per revolution. That’s neither here nor there and it’s a fine enough feederate but it means the surface is only maybe 50% there. You can illustrate this by running your nail along such a barrel, back and forth and hearing “zeet-zeet-zeet!” Doesn’t make it a bad barrel at all, just one that probably won’t maintain a certain level of fit for as long as it would with a smoother finish. Same on the inside (and outside) of the bushing. The smoother the surfaces are, the longer they’ll wear. The grooves are maybe .001 deep but that still takes some time to set it up and get to the bottom of them either by precision grinding the diameter or spinning it with grits down to 600. The grinding process sounds a lot more precise and proper but….. spinning with silicon carbine paper works fine.

My bushing process is boring it to fit the barrel and then angling it one degree and boring it again, allowing the barrel to angle up at the rear for a no-slop lockup. In other words the barrel would not have any “wobble” side-to-side. The final step is usually to lap the angled parts of the bushing’s bore to get them nice and smooth—again so there’s lots of contact, not just contact on a few high spots that will soon wear down. It just helps things last longer. The double-ended bronze rod in the first pic is my lap for this.

Why else does a custom gun “take so long”? Because sometimes the little knob on your gas furnace breaks and you can’t find a replacement, but without it you can’t start the thing when the overnight cold wind has blown it out. Somebody…. somebody has to fix it by making a thin ring of brass to salvage it. Now, who do you suppose that “somebody” is, hmm? Well it got delegated to the same guy who sweeps the floor, oils the machines, keeps the wood fire going, answers the phone (sometimes), orders parts, feeds the shop cat and oh yeah, works on the 1911’s. 8)
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I rely on the surface grinder for a lot of things. One is, sometimes, to get a good slide to frame fit. This kind of fit is one of those things that is not of the utmost necessity but it’s “nice to have” for a couple reasons. Accuracy is one but in my experience it’s only a minor contributor. Perception is a biggie—customers expect it on a spendy custom gun and that ain’t wrong. Done right there’s no down side, no reliability penalty that I’ve seen. Here again the idea is to get smooth surfaces but more than that, lots of surface area—no rounded-off surfaces or heavily chamfered edges that reduce bearing area, shortening the life of the fit. First order of biz is to carefully measure what I’m starting with. Often enough I have to re-cut the slide’s rails as they will be out of parallel, wavy, one ramping upward, one ramping downward. You can’t get a good fit until they’re straight. That necessitates welding up the frame. Measuring a slide below: rods are kept in the rail cuts by the little piece of plastic on the back end and a U-shaped piece of rubber sheet at the front. The one man shop has only two hands, not enough to hold things in place and measure at the same time! I measure by putting gage blocks between the rods. This slide was as perfect as any I’ve seen, this dimension was perfectly parallel front to rear and concentric to the narrower dimension.
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Grinding the slide…. Lots of sparks but that’s under .001 I’m taking off (total of about .002 / side).
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Grinding the rail width on the frame. The top was also ground but I didn't grab a pic.
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In the above pic note that I have reduced the rail width in the middle by .001.

I always “try” to just take everything to the numbers, but that rarely works. I go conservative because…. you can always take more off. This one, once the grinding was done, burrs knocked off, edges broken and demagnetized and greased, went together perfectly. Actually I think that’s a first.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:24 am 
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As I have mentioned, guns are still my hobby and I'm fortunate in that I have the tools to facilitate doing whatever I want to when something piques my interest. If it's a Browning design, and/or made from walnut and steel, and/or just plain fascinating in how it's made, I'm signing on. Browning designs of course usually check all those boxes. I've been on an Auto 5 binge in recent years.... well I've had one for decades, that came as a basket case that had been spray-painted brown, but in the last few years it's been more of a deep study and history quest.

Besides Remington and Browning, Savage also made these under license from 1930 to 1949: the model 720 (and a few other variants including one with an aluminum receiver). In a rare case of Ned-finds-a-bargain, I bought this one for $175 with no barrel or fore end. The barrel.... well in another happy coincidence, I've had one here for many years for reasons I've forgotten. The barrel was for a Remington Model 11, Remington's 'version" of this design. They mated well and I scarfed up a fore end. Said barrel was longer than I wanted so I cut it to 18 1/4"..... then I removed the last 2" of the cut-off piece and sculpted it to the below shape, and silver-brazed it to the now-shorter barrel, for a new front sight. I fabbed a mag extension to a commensurate length that gives a capacity of 6 rounds.

I enjoy doing this stuff in the fashion of "how it would have been done in the '30's". I could have had the front sight piece wire EDM'd to perfection but I much prefer the idea that it was sawed and filed to shape. This gun was well used when it came my way and I'm trying to maintain that aspect in everything I do to it..... it's almost as if replacing the buggered-up screws, stoning out rust pits and steaming out dents would be to erase history.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:49 am 
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Dang Ned,

That front sight is nothing but classically cool!


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:22 pm 
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I've been shooting a little more lately than usual-- weird, I know. Shotgun ammo has still been reasonable so there's been some of that..... with the small pistol primer famine I have for the first time in a long time consolidated all I could find, almost to the point of checking under benches. Large everything, no issues for a while, depending on how long this "while" lasts. Did some shooting on steel at 500 over the w/e and a little warm-up of the .50 GI bowling pin gun. The carbon buildup patterns in the comp are interesting. I was reviewing some pics of this thing and found a good one showing this:
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One thing that has always kinda concerned me about huge ports in a comp is, if an empty decided to land in there and you didn't notice...... "problem". It's very unlikely with a pin gun but in, say a USPSA race gun where you might be required to shoot through any kind of odd stage prop, once could bounce back in there. Most comps don't have ports this big but then race guns will be in a caliber using smaller cases, too.

Where there is no buildup is where the "work" is being done.... that's my guess as one who is not educated in flow dynamics. Where the buildup is, are lower pressure areas and eddies that cannot self-clean.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:43 am 
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Looks more to me like a matter of flow dynamics. The buildup is lateral to the muzzle, where the gas flow is going to come out of the muzzle and crash directly into the sidewall. Forward, where the flow can shear to the comp port, the buildup decreases. So, gases hit the sidewall, and stall, heat and pressure adheres carbon to the wall. But forward, where it can flow, it scours the walls. The buildup will accumulate until the recoil and gas flow forces become greater than the adherence of the buildup, it will blow off in chunks and then begin again. Seen it happen in my comps. I even saw it in real time once, on the line at Second chance. i was so "in the flow" that I could see the fresh bullet hole appear on each pin, and on one shot, there was a spray of debris up out of the comp.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:03 am 
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I've seen a big chunk of carbon come flying out of this comp, in slo-mo. When Michael Bane's episode of Shooting gallery came out on The Pin Shoot, there's a scene in the opening of me shooting my .50. I fire a shot, the gun recoils, and chunk that looks to be about 5/16" square comes lazily spinning out. They caught something else in slo-mo on one of the pins I'm shooting..... something hilarious. There's the pin, waiting to be shot, and there's a fly buzzing around it. Here comes the .50 slug and >wham< it's a hit just below the vertical CG. The front of the pin pivots forward and I think it actually hits the fly! He survives to fly away though and today lives comfortably in a nice condo on the lake Michigan shoreline.

Edit: I just revisited that video and although I don't know how to view the entire episode, the two slomo scenes mentioned above are right at the beginning of this preview. The fly definitely got hit with the bowling pin!
https://www.outdoorchannel.com/show/sho ... 630/331001

....and at about 1:37, that's the gun from my post "Kim's Kimber":
https://forum.ltwguns.com/viewtopic.php ... 27s+Kimber

And here’s a thread about the .50--
https://forum.ltwguns.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9890


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:22 pm 
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Its amazing what the camera can catch, that we can see now that video and digital rules. In my G&ATV Hollywood episode on the 12 Strong movie, at one point in the slo-mo portion, you can see a hummingbird, just a bit out of focus, working the plants in the foreground.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:21 am 
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It was a FRAG Friday.....
Image

This is actually 3/4 FRAG. Same pattern but scaled down proportionally.

There was a discussion about the ammo shortage. A clever guy was exploring how to make .45 ammo from shotshells broken-down. Primers are the thing now, of course. He modified .45 cases to use shotshell primers. I mean the whole thing was a what-if, Mad Max / McGyver exercise, but it caught my interest. We're a long way from this of course but I got to looking at some .308 cases in my scrap brass can.

Boys, hang on to that Berdan primed .308 brass, there is a .45 case AND bullet there :-) :

A .308 case, a shortened case, the shortened end formed up a little and cut-off……
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The butt end cut to length and reamed to .453:
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Bullet filed from its original .457 or so to .451, and filed a bit to round the shape more:
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So-- since in this scenario the cases are getting drilled out anyway for a shotgun primer, the Berdan-ness is no impediment. The .308 case, behind the shoulder, could be neatly turned to .451 prior to being cut off. In my gleeful haste I didn't do that and hand filed it after the fact. Once finished, the jacket maybe could simply be poured full of lead. I mean the sky's the limit in terms of refining the processes. Epoxy and shot from the shotshell could be used as a bullet core but the hole in the jacket would need to be formed to "closed" so the core didn't just shoot out of the jacket.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:43 am 
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So Ned, isn't there some saying about the difference between genius and insanity is just which door you walk through? (If not, it seems there ought to be).

Seems like, here, you've been through both of them (OK, maybe just cracked the insanity door, and got a whiff).

This is beyond out-of-the-box thinking. Love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:07 pm 
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Well..... genius, I would not know about that.... insanity, maybe a little ;-)

I'd have never gone there if the other guy hadn't posed the idea of scavenging shotshells to make .45's so he really gets the credit.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:22 am 
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Well….. it was another FRAG Friday. Trying something a little different and so far, I / we like it but it has yet to be shot:
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On triggers in general. Long, short, medium, flat…. smooth, grooved, even FRAG’d…… to me as a shooter none of that makes much dif. Don’t get me wrong, I have my preference, but I think some shooters get too tied up in having a gun set up “just so” or they think they can’t shoot it. I always see this ascribed to Henry Ford, not sure if that’s right but the saying sure is: “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.”
My prefs are pretty pedestrian: standard Colt commercial length and if it’s an original Colt bit I’ll be OK with that and in fact that’s what’s on two of my most important personal guns, albeit with solid overtravel stops added. Not a fan of the screw as an adjustable OT stop but done right there’s no issue. Are the triggers rattle-loose on these two personal guns, yes, and I never, ever notice that.
Many aftermarket triggers are not made from the very best materials---- which is actually OK, the trigger doesn’t take much of a beating, but trigger bows tend to be somewhat delicate. In the gun, pretty much nothing can happen to it but outside, one needs to treat them with care. Most bows are a pretty soft and “dead” stainless; the trigger shoes are 6061 which is also soft. Again, the trigger’s job is pretty easy and these materials are adequate and I guess to some degree advantageous to me as a smith fitting a trigger. That’s because I universally wind up spending a lot of time getting the bow re-formed to be wide enough so it cannot make contact with a magazine. A whole lot of 1911’s out there have trigger bows that are narrower on the inside than the magwell opening. Most of these will give no problem but there will be those where this narrowness causes interference between the mag and the trigger, manifested as sticky, inconsistent trigger movement or mags not dropping free. Here are two triggers, one before and one after reforming to eliminate this problem. The dif is more than .020:
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I wish they’d have just been “made wider” in the first place but then I reckon the “drop in” factor would be reduced to the point that a lot of people would complain. More than half the time I also wind up widening the trigger bow cuts in the frame. Very few guns have these well centered on the mag well cut so even with a widened trigger bow you can still see it protruding slightly into the magwell. Solution: Widen the cut in the frame, and widen the trigger bow.
If I could find the time and money to make my own triggers the bows would be made wider and out of something with a little more hardness and tensile strength, and the shoes would be 7075. Somebody is using 7075 but I can’t remember who but again, once it’s fitted right, it really doesn’t matter, even over tens of thousands of rounds. I guess it’s just me thinking, “dammit! It’s a gun, make it out of gun metal!”


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:50 pm 
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The Gold Cup in the first post of this thread-- if you read that you'll see that this GC obviously needs a new bushing. Work on the GC is very intermittent but I got to wondering today about that barrel-to-bushing fit and the bushing-to-slide. It measured out like this:
Bushing OD, .697. Very much on the small side.
Slide bore where the bushing goes-- .704. A tad large.
--There's .007 of clearance there.

Bushing ID, .584. Right in the range where is should be, but.....
Barrel OD, .579.
--There's another .005.

I am certainly not about making 1911's "tight". We've all seen "tight" so tight that it can't be hand cycled without undue effort. Guns that requires a palm strike on the rear of the slide to go into battery. Where the bushing can't come out without using a wrench. In some instances the barrel actually needs to flex a little for the gun to go into battery. There's no need for that!

....nor for .012 of clearance. This one will be interest to shoot with the old and new bushings for comparison. I predict a not shocking difference in accuracy, but still a worthwhile one, at least for a more accomplished shooter.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:07 pm 
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Saturday afternoon in the shop reading room.

Which is, you know, the same room as... the rest of the room 8)

I will confess that, especially on the weekends, breaks can go a little long. I have so many dang books started and not enough finished. Much of my reading (which is not as much as it should be) is done on the Airdyne. Hm, is it possible...... is it somehow possible.... that not getting enough reading done is an indicator as to whether or not I'm on the Airdyne as much as I should be....? Well at least when I decided ahead of time I'm gonna take some Saturday time to sit and read for a while, I also decided have something healthy to drink. Yes the coconut juice is a little sugary, that's why I'm gonna mix it with that..... now what was that stuff.... I think it was celery juice or kale extract, something like that.
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:19 pm 
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Looks like our choice of reading material runs in the same vein.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:28 pm 
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As a young moldmaker's apprentice I moonlighted for a couple different guys who had their own shops at home. Joe is the son of one of them and has quite a shop of his own, specializing in wire EDM. I was going out his way the other day so I brought along something I've been meaning to have him do. I just had a new batch of Shield Drivers made but I wanted some special ones made from special material. The other piece is going into something unique, eventually.
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:53 am 
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I suspect that the originating stock material is some pretty special alloy.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:24 am 
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I tried researching it.... can't find any decent info on what they made these from.


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