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 Post subject: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:30 pm
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Location: MI
It may seem as if I have not been turning much out lately. That is actually not the case, it is simply that I have been very busy working and not very busy posting. Plus, training season, now winding down, does have me out of the shop a bit, and, I have been doing a lot in the way of R&D and new product development, for myself and a little bit by contract.

I recently finished this one for a guy who at this point I will just say is “high ranking”. To be honest I hesitated a little with the base gun and would not have accepted it from anyone but him, but as it was to be a less-elaborate-than-most project, I figured, OK.

Lesson learned—or re-learned. Once I got a look at it I was surprised at what I had. I knew STI offered some guns on cast frames but I didn’t realize this would be one and I sure didn’t know they were coming from offshore, but they are (Phillippines). This one was pretty rough in some areas, and some of the bits were no less surprising. Where I consider a lot of STI’s parts offerings pretty good, some of these were very crude renderings, almost as if regular STI parts had been used as masters, from which sand molds were made, then the parts cast. These include the grip safety, mag release and release lock, and a few others. Top-end wise it was what seemed to be regular-quality STI stuff except for the barrel, which was replaced with one from Chuck Warner at Elite Warrior Armament, which has proved to be a great shooter.

So—this became what will be the only STI with FRAG. Other than those with, shall we say, unauthorized copies of FRAG.

To me the most exciting thing in these pics is the grips. These aren’t the grips I’m shipping with the gun but I could not wait to drop a little hint of things to come, exclusively for LTW followers: FRAG grips made from what I think is the most interesting wood in the country, and it grows right in my back yard.

It is very hard, and super strong: the Indians made warclubs and bows from it, and custom bow makers still seek it out. Farmers planted it around here and throughout the US for windbreaks and hedgerows, as it grows into dense, thorny, snaggled rows that no cow in its right mind would try to get through. They also used the wood for fenceposts as it is so dense as to be practically rot-proof. It has also been used for things like axe handles. In burning it makes more BTU’s per pound than just about anything else and I can tell you from years of heating with wood that when I burn Maclura Pomifera, it is like opening the gates of Hell in the stove.

I’m working with a few outfits on getting a supply of these going. Some will have more figure than others, and color will vary. It darkens a bit with age. I probably won’t be offering them very broadly as, well, I probably won’t have a whole lot of them due it not being the easiest wood to work in, and supply issues—even though there’s no shortage of it in my immediate area, this stuff with its extreme density takes longer than usual to dry to a workable moisture content. But, as far as wood for a grip material, this will be among the very strongest and I have never heard of it being used before in this application!

The gun is pictured propped in a fencepost of this stuff that came out of the ground at least a decade ago, after probably 75-plus years in the ground.

Left side. Without Googling the Latin name, who can name this wood?
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Left side again, a little further out.
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Left side, full view. Now the truth comes out…. Compensator! This is really just a fancy thread protector but I figured why not make it do double duty.... anyway the customer is into many, OK, every, kind of shooting including bowling pin and steel shooting.
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Right hand side full view…..
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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:58 am 
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Not to be mister obvious but yellowheart?


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:10 pm
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Location: Michigan
I know! I know!! Whadda I win??

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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:03 pm 
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Celt wrote:
I know! I know!! Whadda I win??

You missed the part where Ned said his next build would be for the winner of his trivia. So sad for you that you didn't actually answer...


I'll take that build slot. ;)

Those grips sure look orange to me...like Osage Orange...


Very cool stuff Ned! Those grips look awesome. That wood shines up very nice!! I bet that it makes fantastic grips, never a worry about warping or shrinking?


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:28 am 
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Had not head of yellowheart but maybe it bears looking into..... logical guess I would say.

It is Osage Orange, AKA Bodark, which is the Anglicized version of Bois D'arc ("wood of the bow"). I'm not a wood guru but from what I've seen and read of it, it is by far less susceptible to warp / shrink than most woods. I will be making several sets available in a week or three-- some for Officers ACP.


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:01 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 4:42 am
Posts: 704
Location: Combine, Texas
If that is the wood I am thinking of, it is SUPER hard. I had worn out a chainsaw blade just getting a stump out of our yard. Definitely good work.

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Do your research but you get what you pay for front end or back end
http://www.pt-partners.com
@ptpartners_tx


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:23 am 
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Location: MI
Indeed it is not easy on the chain saw!

I have a handful of sets for sale: four for Gov't model in Osage Orange. Four sets of Officer's ACP-- two are walnut, one is Osage Orange, one is black cherry. I'll get them up for sale properly at some point but-- early notice to LTWisti. These are all thin and best mated with standard Colt screws that have been shortened, which I can provide-- machined shorter and machine chamfered (not belt-sanded.... nothing against belt sanders:-) ).

My favorite bushings these days are from Brian Challis:
http://www.challisgrips.com/c/18-Bushin ... ories.aspx

I want to disclose my source for these grips-- I'm not going to pretend I make them here although I provide the Osage Orange. I contacted two outfits for this, figuring I'd be lucky if only one answered and extra lucky if they were willing to work with me, and supremely lucky if the work was of high quality accompanied by great service. In other words, I figured on an uphill battle getting these made. I had serious doubts if it would happen at all, or at least soon.

Both places were awesome on all counts. No way am I choosing between them, they both deserve my business and credit as the artisans making these for me. They are RAASCO and Wood Caliber:
https://raasco.com/
http://www.woodcaliber.com/

I would not be ready to ship any for a few weeks, I need to get some screw sets in and modified and final price is still being determined.


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:45 am 
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Location: Houston/Kuwait
That new 20mm 1911 is pretty cool too.

I would like one of those thread protectors :-)

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Chris Hoesel
"Happiness is a belt-fed weapon" - Unknown


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:41 am
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Location: Illinois
Here we just call it "Hedge" and most of the hedge rows disappeared in the mid '70's when corn hit $6.00 a bushel. When burning hedge flew pipe cleaning is a must, creosote build up is quick. Great looking grips! A good friend used to make duck calls out of hedge and found pieces with fantastic figure.
Keep up the good work.
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:53 am 
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I just scored another old fencepost of Osage Orange and found several more that have been pulled, they're mine for the taking. Soon as I get my OLD chainsaw running again I'm going to get into them, I'm thinking that ged stuff might be extra good inside. Might resort to a carbide-tipped blade on the Skil saw. You'll know that went bad ilkf I strart tyypignm likle w thjisf. Worst case scenario I'll have enough of it to keep the shop toasty for a couple weeks.

I have experimented with setting these out in the light and indeed they darken up nicely.


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 Post subject: Re: FRAG-O'-Nine
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:43 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 4:42 am
Posts: 704
Location: Combine, Texas
I know that wood when we were clearing our land definitely work out chains FAST. Good luck.

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Be safe and keep the brass flying

Terry Peters

Do your research but you get what you pay for front end or back end
http://www.pt-partners.com
@ptpartners_tx


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