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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2023 7:56 pm 
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I'm diggin' that "race prepped" adjustable wrench. How much faster is it to use with the weight relief?


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2023 8:34 pm 
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It is so fast it makes a sound like an impact wrench :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2023 7:34 am 
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Observations from my 27th year of attending The Pin Shoot (TPS).

“I’m going, period. I know you’re not done packing but I would appreciate it if you would not stack any more shotguns on me.”
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What’s wrong with this picture?
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New for 2023, the interchangeable barrel foot.
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This Bar Sto barrel has 32 years of pin shooting on it, plus some steel and IPCS matches. It has to be at least 50,000 rounds with the vast majority being pin loads—not an easy life for a barrel. We know it impacts on the vertical impact surface each cycle— and, when you have a heavy comp attached to the barrel, it impacts harder, I reckon. I can’t fault the barrel, but it’s gonna be a job putting a new Kart in there.

Not to worry, there’s backup. The Pin Gun top end ist kaput but the Stock Gun top end is not that much slower to shoot.
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The Guncrafter .50 Pin Gun—“Pin Gelder”-- has about 4500 rounds on it. It gets used for one thing only—knocking bowling pins off a steel-topped table at 26’. It does that very, very well. This year’s load was the same as it has been for the last seven years—255 Rim Rock SWC’s at about 875, Power Factor about 220 (https://rimrockbullets.com/xcart/-50-gi ... gory_id=11). A new bullet was also tried, the source is sort of a mystery but I scored some: the exact same bullet profile but no lube groove and the meplat is a little crisper, powder coated black, 270 grains. As with the Rim Rock bullet it looks like a scaled-up .45 200 grain H&G 68. The coating is the big advantage here, not the weight—it keeps lead from contacting your skin in handling and probably reduces the lead content in the gun smoke. But the big advantage is the smoke—there being less of it.
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The .50 GI might have some advantage in pin action but I shot many tables with the old ’91 pin gun (until it broke) using my since-late-eighties load of a Keith style SWC at ~975 and I felt no less, or minimally less effective.
(https://missouribullet.com/details.php? ... 3&keywords). There were several .50’s there and as a group we did well but plenty of other guys won plenty of other stuff with not-.50’s. I will say that with my .50 Pin Gun setup, the compensator “don’t hurt none”, being a .50 “helps some”, but the biggest advantage might just be the very prominent front sight.
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I spotted some very interesting, and vintage, Pin Guns, got some pics, they will follow. I also saw some home-gunsmithed guns where the work on them was pretty impressive.

Shotguns abound at The Pin Shoot (TPS). Remington 870’s and 1100 / 1187’s are the most common but you are liable to see anything. The Shotgun event is, you buy a set of three tables (many optionals are in sets of three) for $25 (if you get them at the early bird half price). It’s you and your scattergun vs eight pins, three on the table, two on the middle tier and three on the top tier. OOB is used universally, nothing smaller than #4 buck is permitted; slugs are OK and one of my group used them last year to good effect. A case can be made that they are not slower, however, the slug user here is the exception. In my group one shooter used my Winchester ’97 but that was more of an “old times’ sake” run. My perennial shotgun for TPS is my Browning BPS—the gun I bought to succeed the ’97 and it is so much smoother and faster that the ’97 is just out of the running. In the shotgun event the pump gunner gets a second knocked off his times. But—this year I ran an 1100 only. I never cared for them, they have never seem robust and reliable enough for shooting a case or cases of buckshot, and indeed last year the 1100 let me down. But I delved into it and changed a few things….. it is running very well now, fast and soft shooting (while it lasts….). There are a lot of really good shotgunners up there and my best time of 4.0 got me nothing!

Other shotguns spotted, several of the Mossberg 930 Jerry Miculek competition models (semi-auto), very effective but with a few weak spots maybe (one charging handle landed at my feet, sheared clean off).Some Benellis. At least one Remington Model 11 (Browning Auto 5 pattern). Running that Rem 11 (and the ’97) to very good effect, my own 19-YO lad, who used the Rem 11 to help bring his three-man team into 1st place. Three Man Team being two shotguns and handgun vs twenty-seven pins, AKA “Rolling Thunder”.

In our circle of friends, we had two “most improved” shooters, my wife and the lad’s GF. Both put in a lot of serious work and it really showed in the PCC Main and PCC Optionals! If this rate of improvement continues, and I suspect it will, one or both will get called to the prize table next year.

The big news this year was two new Main Events especially for 9mm—the PCC Main and the Stock Minor Main (handgun). So now there are a total of six “Mains”, the two for 9mm and the Pin Gun Main, the Stock Gun Main, the Concealed Carry Main, and the Space Gun Main. The rule is you have to shoot all your Mains before you can move on to Optionals. The 9mm Mains were designed to attract more shooters and give them a gateway to 9mm Optionals. You can sign up for only one Main—shoot it and then you can move on to Optionals.

These 9mm Mains can be shot with any caliber, the idea being, yes, a .45 Win Mag will dang sure take them off smartly but you can’t possibly be competitive with it. In the 9mm Mains, pins are situated to be easier to get off the table, but on a few of them good square hits are the only thing that works. Note that in the 9mm Optionals, “knock-over” is all that’s required, making these events blazing fast. As with the Shotgun event, competition is fierce. Times that would seem impossibly fast in any other scenario are out of the money. A total first-timer won the PCC main, and took as a prize a fine JP Rifles PCC. It’s all up on PracticeScore I believe but I find that site nearly impossible to use. There was a PCC shootoff to start the day on Wednesday, shootoffs are possibly the most exciting events, with cash payouts. Then—there was the new JP Rifles PCC Shootoff. This was a big deal and this is the first year JP has been brought on as a match sponsor, for which we were all grateful. I got bumped out early-on, but when the smoke cleared my cuz Jess Christensen (formerly of the Royal Danish Navy Military Police) won the event and the fine JP Rifles PCC with the roller-delayed action.

More to follow.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2023 8:32 pm 
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It’s not really a “lost brass” match. I mean, not many people pick up their brass, some probably never want to see it again, but you can if you don’t hold things up by doing it. Find the .50’s! They’re pretty easy to spot. If you have a big fat cigar going you can use it as a gage (not a cigar smoker myself).
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Getting some lead and carbon chunks out of Pin Gelder. I was surprised how much buildup there was in some areas. Rubber gloves time, lead warning! I get lead-tested once a year for an outfit I do some work for and unfortunately it comes right after TPS. It’s a good time to not “eat lead”.
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I picked up a handful of others’ .45 brass just to see what I could see. Top, the accursed small-primer Speer brass—pretty hot load. Hits are slightly off-center, and off-center hits are more problematic with small primers. I’m told by the afore-mentioned 19YO that .45 was originally made with small primers but they went to large primers to lessen the sensitivity to off-center firing pin hits.

Second from top. These were pretty hot loads as pin loads will tend to be.

Third, wow, way off center but thanks to large primers probably not a problem. My guess? These are from someone’s short-barreled gun for the Concealed Carry event. Shorter-barreled guns are more likely to have very low firing pin strikes.

Fourth, what one would see with “normal” loads.
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Main Event cards and buckshot rounds tossed out for answering trivia questions while the pinsetters get the tables ready for the next shooter. On a box from the pinshooter’s preferred buckshot: S&B 12-pellet non-magnum OOB. This stuff runs about 1000 FPS. The list at the bottom is pounds by caliber of ammo I brought up. I didn't shoot it all.
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Getting ready for next year…..
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2023 11:08 am 
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As I've said int he past, The Pin Shoot is the only match I know of where the ammunition consumption can be measured by the cubic foot.

There's a reason you see a lot of pickup trucks and SUVs in the parking lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2023 3:07 pm 
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Indeedy.

Some interesting vintage pin guns I was shown. Bottom one is a Behlert, owned by the guy who sent it in years ago. He thought that the work might have been done by George Smith of EGW when he worked for Behlert. Top one, unknown. By coincidence both had pivoting triggers, which as I recall was originated by Austin Behlert. I did one years ago, the trigger was made from titanium and had a ball bearing in it—in case anyone runs across it.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2023 8:51 am 
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Changing a frame “back” from ramped barrel to non-ramped.
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And, ready to weld.
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Recently completed: getting the Extra Stout Plunger Tube installed.
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Getting weight out where it can be got. Do enough of this and you might get an ounce out.
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Final double-double checks include seeing that plunger tube studs, grip bushings, and trigger bow to not protrude into mag chute space.
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This one includes the Fallarrest ©feature. If all else fails—the hammer cannot fall with the safety on.
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Charcoal blue from Turnbull Restoration—very nice. Sights were blued by Glenrock. I went to the trouble simply because “regular” bluing is just a scoche darker than charcoal blue. Front sight has a platinum insert silver-brazed in.
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What you see around the dovetail is not residual LoCTite, it's oil and Never-Seez. Dovetail is plenty tight.
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Bushing, barrel, hammer, recoil spring plug have a nickel-and-chrome bearing PVD finish. Just can’t find hard chrome any more—this may be the substitute in coming years. Hard as DLC but…. not black. Black raspberries by Mother Nature. Probably a good thing we don't have bears around here.
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You never see the dust until you see the pic  .
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How I love that Osage Orange! Tough as nails, too. Actually, sometimes “tougher than nails.”
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Cradled in what is probably part of the grandpa of the tree I took the Osage Orange from. A fencepost that was likely put in the ground in the 1920’s; taken out in the 2000’s. The gun's S/N is laser engraved into the barrel..... most of it is cloned out here.
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Osage Orange will rot, eventually, but man it puts up a fight. Those are some tough worms. I’ve never seen that in a living branch.
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2023 8:59 pm 
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Lots of good stuff happing there.
Quote:
Changing a frame “back” from ramped barrel to non-ramped.
Welding that in? That will be tough for almost anyone. I've got an SA frame that a buddy bought at a gun show thinking he could put together a cheap truck gun. Problem is that someone had milled it for a Clark/Para ramped barrel and screwed it up. Way overcut. I got it from him to experiment. I have used a plastic casting material to make a cast of the cut so that I can copy it in steel. The plan was to silly solder the plug in place, then final machine back to spec. Any time I've talked to TIG guys they all shied away from something that required getting down into a tight recess.


Last edited by BBBBill on Fri Jul 14, 2023 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2023 6:14 am 
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That new gat is really nice... is that Turnbull Charcoal? Your work is second to none Ned!
Nice work as always:)

BTW, interesting trigger shoe and cocking serrations... I love the look of the frag on the trigger guard and that bevel work on the slide stop!

Well done my friend.
B


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2023 9:09 am 
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Thanks B. That is indeed Turnbull charcoal and it is very nicely done.

BBBBBill, this will be laser-welded in. I think that makes welding into depths and nooks and crannies easier. My laser guy is also a top-notch TIG guy but his TIG rig basically gathers dust these days. Where I once thought laser was only for "filling", I see more and more that it can also be used for fabbing and "attaching". No expert, still learning but I think in theory you could laser weld a great big job like a ship's anchor chain but of course it's not practical, you could not fit it on the welding platen and it would take forever. I would not surprised though if there is a laser welder out there, a hand-held outfit for bigger jobs.

My feeling on the frame is that the VIS of the ramped-barrel cut will take the whack of the barrel transmitted to weld-in insert's new VIS. I have fitted it so there's full contact there and when I take it to my guy I'll have it fixtured up so there's a pre-load between those two surfaces. I'm hoping that with these steps, the weld will not be over stressed. I may still run a 1/8 or 3/32 pin laterally. You could probably just pin it in and let it float slightly....? I think your idea of silver should work as long as you get good contact front/rear so the silver joint on the sides is not in shear.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2023 10:47 am 
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Beautiful work, as always, Ned. i can see un-ramping a frame that has had the work done poorly, but if it was properly done, why change?


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2023 12:35 pm 
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The Colonel ordered me to do it!


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 8:58 pm 
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Quote:
...My feeling on the frame is that the VIS of the ramped-barrel cut will take the whack of the barrel transmitted to weld-in insert's new VIS. I have fitted it so there's full contact there and when I take it to my guy I'll have it fixtured up so there's a pre-load between those two surfaces...
Thinking that a modified version of this also might be a good way to deal with an overcut or pounded VIS. I had also considered using a Wilson or Clark barrel and modifying it to remove the ramp, leaving a slightly wider (front to back) standing lug to fix an out of spec VIS vs retiring the frame.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2023 11:18 am 
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Quote:
The Colonel ordered me to do it!
Well, then, you do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2023 6:51 am 
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After hours:

The things you do, that, five hours earlier you had no idea you would be doing.

Remove the barrel from an SVT-40:
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What is an SVT-40, you may ask. "Stalin's Garand" some call it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SVT-40

You know how, when you take on a task on an unfamiliar thing, it goes terribly? Every single aspect of it goes wrong and it turns into a nightmare? Amazingly-- not this time.

The thing about rifles is that sometimes, some of them might need a new barrel. The SVT-40 is the exception in that pretty much every SVT-40, everywhere, needs a new barrel. No one offers them. Let's see what we can do about that. This rifle barely holds a foot at 50 yards, maybe even 25. That Soviet era ammo was the corrosivest of the corrosive. The SVT-40 is a fascinating rifle and to me, having not fought a war with either it or the M1 Garand but being somewhat familiar with both.... to me, I'd be tempted to choose the SVT over the Garand.

Unfortunately, Lapua recently stopped bringing their 7.62X54R match ammo, it would have been interesting to try some if the rebarreling is successful, since 99.9% of the ammo available is not accurate at all. I learned yesterday Lapua has shifted a lot of its production to Ukraine. Contemplating all that best-in-the-world ammo being hosed out of PK machineguns and clapped-out AK's brings a tear. Hopefully that will be over soon. Well.... the SVT's owner will just have to hand load.

The salt mine in Soledar Ukraine, packed full of every kind of weapon known to the world, almost without doubt has some NIB SVT-40's and replacement barrels:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApFT-pLcAXQ&t=58s

I mean, it has NIB Maxims and Thompsons, there must be some SVT-40's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SVT-40


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2023 5:42 pm 
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The above-mentioned conversion of a frame cut for a ramped barrel, welded in:
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2023 8:57 pm 
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Very professional work. Obvious that the welder knows his stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2023 3:55 am 
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That is some very detailed and very time consuming work. Show a passion for going "above and beyond" Thank you for sharing and thank you for keeping this forum alive

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2023 7:43 am 
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There is a lot important stuff and, honestly, 1911 history on this forum and I am not talking about only my own content. I hope it never goes away!


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2023 6:58 am 
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Frame-slide fits, welding-up the frame and all. I think we all do it in about the same way, with some variations no doubt. Once the weld is on, I don't know that there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way to proceed-- I've done it in a variety of ways over the years. Then there's Chuck Rogers' method of silver-brazing inserts into the frame, which I thought was genius.

Which method of welding is not critical as long as it's done right. Either is better (just my opinion) than the old way of squeezing, hammering, lapping, etc.-- although many really good guns have been done that way. The goal in my mind is to get bearing surfaces that are flat and straight. Getting the welded-up frame rails flat and straight is not a picnic at all, you're working with a part (the frame) that is easily distorted or even damaged by clamping it solid enough to do some cutting on it. Many, many 1911's also don't have sides that are flat and parallel. Frame or slide, however you immobilize it or clamp it up or whatever, if you are flexing and twisting it say .005, there's trouble ahead. You cut the rails to perfection and the moment you unclamp it all, the frame flexes back to its previous state and now something is askew in the perfect frame rails you just cut.

Quite often, the slide rails need to be addressed first, again, in a slide whose sides are probably not flat and parallel, or even square to the frame rails, so-- hard to clamp. Measuring the rails calls for some special tools and techniques, and a lot of patience (at least the slow, tedious way I do it). The rails may be found to be far from parallel and straight-- you maybe find that one runs up hill, one runs downhill, not straight uphill or downhill mind you, but with a bow of maybe .004 in it. Thickness-wise, one gets wider rear-to-front and one gets narrower, the overall width and the slot width may be up to .012 out of concentricity, in other words one rail cut is much deeper than the other. All this has to be addressed before recutting the welded frame. Hopefully the welded areas are not unmanageably hard nor dead soft, but with flat, straight and parallel bearing surfaces, soft is probably not a deal-killer. Harder may sound better, but too hard may make it difficult to get your cuts right. The idea in my view, got lots of bearing area-- this will minimize wear. You can make one thing a nice no-slop fit to the other but if it's riding on little high spots, it will loosen up quicker than if there are ample surfaces.

Frame-to-slide fitting is maybe not my favorite thing to do but that's more about begrudging the time it takes. It's actually kind of a fun challenge, but the whole process is loaded with opportunities to screw it up, too. Once it's done and you're getting that silky-smooth motion with very little or maybe even "none" movement, then, it all seems worth it. It helps one to understand why a lot of factory guns have .012 rattle ;-)

Slide to frame is not the one big key to accuracy-- that comes form barrel quality and barrel fit. Slide to frame fit "don't hurt none", I'll grantcha. It does help wring a little more accuracy out. It sure makes a 1911 feel nice in hand-cycling and in a high-end custom gun a guy is not wrong to want that. A benefit that I think I've noticed, it's pretty subjective, but I believe a well-fitted 1911 shoots a tad milder.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2023 9:41 pm 
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Quote:
Frame-slide fits, welding-up the frame and all. I think we all do it in about the same way, with some variations no doubt. Once the weld is on, I don't know that there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way to proceed-- I've done it in a variety of ways over the years. Then there Chuck Rogers' method of silver-brazing inserts into the frame, which I thought was genius...
Among numerous other things, Chuck is a master of silly solder. Agree on the inserts. One day I might get brave enough to try that.
Quote:
Which method of welding is not critical as long as it's done right. Either is better (just my opinion) than the old way of squeezing, hammering, lapping, etc...
I don't think you can ever get really parallel frame and/or slide rails by the old method. They will always wear faster than properly fit oversized rails whether welded or manufactured ala JEM and/or others.
Quote:
...Quite often, the slide rails need to be addressed first, again, in a slide whose sides are probably not flat and parallel, or even square to the frame rails, so-- hard to clamp. Measuring the rails calls for some special tools and techniques, and a lot of patience (at least the way I do it). The rails may be found to be far from parallel and straight-- you maybe find that one runs up hill, one runs downhill, not straight uphill or downhill mind you, but with a bow of maybe .004 in it. Thickness-wise, one gets wider rear-to-front and one gets narrower, the overall width and the slot width may be up to .012 out of concentricity, in other words one rail cut is much deeper than the other. All this has to be addressed before recutting the welded frame...
The idea in my view, got lots of bearing area-- this will minimize wear. You can make one thing a nice no-slop fit to the other but if it's riding on little high spots, it will loosen up quicker than if there are ample surfaces...
I'd like to know how you measure your slides. I struggle with cobbled up arrangements to try to identify irregularities in the groove. Not sure I'm as successful as I should be. Tight space for a dial indicator and you still can't read the near wall (bottom of the slide groove). Mill the bottom of the slide flat and use a rail mic every tenth of an inch will get you close. Gauge pins are useful, but will bridge over high spots. Inside mics can be useful, but you have to measure every tenth of an inch to get a very good picture.
And there's still a struggle to buy a truly in spec slide with any regularity. A couple folks are trying to remedy that, but maybe not ready for prime time just yet. It ain't as easy as it looks...........


Last edited by BBBBill on Tue Sep 05, 2023 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2023 11:41 am 
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And a loose gun can still be accurate, if every time the slide bangs the barrel up and into position, it does it the exact same way.

I'm sure there were military rack-grade 1911s that the Sergeant in charge knew were the actual tack-drivers because of that. So, if you want an accurate pistol for the next unit match, be sure to be on the armory sergeant's good side.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2023 6:15 am 
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Agreed / seen it.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:33 am 
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There is a snowballing trend in the firearms industry toward what I call "gun decorating". Gun makers now have new models or versions yearly, having taken a lesson from the auto industry, I guess. As with the car biz, you must have the new gun because last year's model is now passé and advertising tries to make you think you simply must have it, or risk being left behind. It is very often the same gun with a different color scheme, or perhaps new holes or slots. But in many cases what the new model will have in common with the old model, is multiple areas still not addressed that detract from reliability, safety, and durability.

I'm not saying innovation and real improvement are completely absent in the firearm industry. It's there, it's just a little rare. In my opinion, in place of it, what we see mostly, is imitation and marketing puffery. Imitation: Glock is surely the most copied / emulated design these days. While Glock soldiers on with the occasional update, their basic operating system and shape is found across several new brands. And I'm not saying they're all bad, some are in fact quite good as far as I know, and I don't necessarily blame those companies for doing the obvious and easy thing. This is done in every industry. I remember when the new-style Dodge Ram pickup first came out: it had a radically different look and I was sure it would fail on styling alone. Instead, it was a big hit and in a cycle that is repeated over and over, decade after decade in the auto industry, Ford and GM started morphing their pickup styling to resemble the new Ram look. Tacky but true.

Back to gun decorating. Slots and holes and such to "improve reliability" that was already as close to 100% as we can expect. Skull logos or even CNC'd skull profiles.... meanwhile, well-practiced shooters elsewhere are burning lots of ammo and getting really good with the boring old (or new) standard guns. The worst gun decorating is that which not only does not improve function but reduces reliability and safety, maybe even accuracy. It's out there.

Being, as I am, in the business of trying to make 1911's that look great, yes, I feel my own hypocrisy here. But, in my defense, I never said it was "wrong" to own a great-looking gun, it's just disappointing when such guns don't work. When they are all tactical badass image and way short on substance. If they work and the appearance of the gun pleases the owner, who was willing to pay something extra for it, well and good! If there is a reliability / safety penalty for the decoration and the proud owner is aware and willing to accept it, I guess that also is well and good, but, guns are supposed to shoot.

Getting a 1911 to function perfectly, as perfectly as can be expected given the variables, I have described in the past as “color by number”. It is almost that but…… not that. The more you learn about the system, the deeper you go, the more little details reveal themselves. And you may find yourself chasing “what ifs” and very low-probability functional issues. But if 100% is the goal, you have to address the .02% issues. The smith’s reputation may depend upon it— which is meaningless in the face of the owner’s life maybe depending upon it.

Addressing the .02% issues is a rabbit hole but it’s one that I ride the obsessive sled into every time. Usually down toward the bottom I find a new thing, a .015% issue. It can get a little tedious sometimes. And I sometimes question the time I put into this kind of thing when I see something like a Tisas that works well right out of the box. But if I see it and can imagine it being a problem, it must go! While on Tisas, those I’ve seen have been good but I see many things that I know will pop up later as function or breakage issues. For the beginner / low round count kind of shooter, I think they are a good value, but they are not the same as a 1911 that has been gone through but a qualified smith.

On to making a 1911 look great. Never at the expense of function, of course, but despite what I have said above, I do recognize that looks matter and it’s a big part of what a customer wants, I mean these are custom guns! I have painted myself into many a corner. On most 1911’s, once you have perfected / corrected one area, the next area suddenly looks out of whack. It was fine when it was next to something seriously crooked or unmatched but once you address the obvious….. the thing adjacent becomes obvious. It’s a tail-chasing party some times! One thing that comes up often and has to be finessed is when one feature intersects another at a very oblique angle. Think of it like a paint pan, the kind you use when you’re painting with a roller. The pan has a bottom and four walls. Three walls are at 90° from the bottom. The fourth wall is at a shallow angle—the surface where you roll the roller down into the paint and bring it back up the “ramp” to get an even paint load on the roller. Set such a pan in front of you, in your mind, and pour it ½ full with black paint, until when viewed from the top, let’s say you see a black square that is 10” X 10”. Look at it a minute. Now, put some more paint into it, making the paint ¼” deeper. Viewed from the top, the black square didn’t change on three sides, but suddenly on the ramped side it grew a lot! Trig tells us that if that ramp angle is 10°, making the paint ¼” deeper makes our black square grow about 1 7/16” on that side.

One example of this on a 1911 that I was recently reminded of was when doing a herringbone pattern on a slide top rib (and yes, OK, ya caught me, it is gun decorating but with at least some theoretical actual purpose). I’ve done this in a variety of ways since maybe 1999. When I want a pattern of lines that cross in the middle of the rib to make small squares but the squares fade out toward the side into just lines, I’m working with angles that are way more oblique than 10°, in fact in the most recent one, less than 1/2° and closer to ¼°. The termination of the cut, where it “ramps out” to nothing, that termination point needs to be the same in all forty or fifty cuts and at that ~1/4° angle, a variance in depth of a tenth of a thou .0001, changes the length of the line about .020! Holding that .0001 is kind of a dumb endeavor on my old Bridgeport or a brand new one, or on the latest and greatest CNC. If the cutter wears say .0003 from line one to line fifty, it shows! So it’s a bit of tedium to juggle things and get things to line up, and note to self, you learned years ago not to do it this way, use less oblique angles!

And this is why, on most guns most of the time I will use relatively simple transverse serrations. Often enough, nothing-- it just "depends".


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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 7:09 am 
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Random things perhaps of interest.

New shotgun that came with a full set of choke tubes. The owner got this for use in three-gun competition and "whatever else" comes along. Everything about this CZ712 Gen II can be described as very well made, I mean the machining, gas system design, and construction are impressive. The chokes seem to have missed a deburring op. No safety issue at all and yes these burrs would in theory shoot out but I would not count on it and it ought not have to be considered. No big D, a few minutes per with the Moto Tool and all's well. Pic is prior to burr removal. The gang of four burrs is the little cuts they put in to enable a quick visual check of what choke that tube has.
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A shot of getting the ID juuussst right on this barrel bushing. Some things that have served me in good stead over the years are the six-jaw chuck and the technique to properly use telescoping gages. The six-jaw chuck allows the chucking-up of delicate parts with less or no risk of distorting them. Something like this, a very light. no-squash-it touch on the chuck wrench is all that's needed. I experimented years ago with taking out three jaws and clamping a bushing tighter, purposely distorting it so that after boring it would spring back to its normal state, making the bore a gentle tri-lobe with .002 high spots at 4, 8, and 12 o'clock. Not really necessary or helpful-- it was really just a long reach into the theoretical that in actual use had no benefit.

After this straight boring, the bushing goes into a fixture of my design in which I can re-bore at an angle to accommodate the upswing of the barrel's rear for lockup. Or a person could just bore it straight with more clearance and honestly that does not "ruin" accuracy and is the way most 1911's are done at the factory. But I pretty much do the two-bore process habitually along with getting all three locking lugs to do their part, each one making contact and doing its part in taking the load when the pistol is fired. Here again I would say that is not "truly necessary" and most factory 1911's will be found to be locking on one lug, with the other two missing lockup by anywhere from a few thou to maybe .008. Again that is "no biggie" but it doesn't suit the OCD in me 8)

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And finally-- something I wrote about in Guns & Ammo a few years ago. Could it be true, the old Viet Nam war bromide of," I stitched him square across the chest and he kept coming!" Patrick Sweeney and I tested this many years ago in a class but I took it further for the article. Patrick's point was that then and now, enemy combatants are likely to be wearing AK chest rigs and indeed, those sturdy AK mags filled with steel-case, steel-jacketed, steel-core ammo pose a viable barrier to the old M193 ammo. Even .45 hardball did not get through in some test shots. The good news is that the new M855A1. Mk 318, and Brown Tips all pretty much say, "Magazines? Were there magazines in the way? I didn't notice."

The fun part was that pretty much every rifle round shot into the chest rig also caused a flare-up of powder from the disrupted ammo.
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 8:32 am 
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I like the 6-jaw on the lathe as well. I've also held them in a collet or by the rear ID, just have to be a bit more careful when moving the boring bar towards the headstock. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2023 10:14 am 
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At the time I bought my little Colchester the only option for a chuck without going to a lot of trouble was the Buck 6-jaw and it was expensive, but.... glad I got it. Buck is a local company, so that felt good.

Sometimes you want to keep it as “all Colt” as you can, even if it means “measures” must be taken.
Stock trigger, lightened in the shoe and bow, still had a lot of up and down. A thin piece of steel is silver brazed to the bottom and trimmed accordingly:
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It’s on the bottom. The OT stop is a bit of roll pin put into a hole and laser welded. Why didn’t I just laser weld the bottom of the trigger? Not worth the trip all by itself. The trick was to braze this on without un-brazing the shoe from the bow. I fixtured it up with a toolmaker’s clamp and set it in a pan of water.
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Non-1911, after hours. This AK sight adjustment tool broke in the second use. Made of something magnetic but super cheezy and although I like Palmetto State Armory, they have no way to be contacted to see if they would warranty it. I dug out a rusty piece of what I call “UK”, unknown steel. By the way it machined it’s some kind of tool steel and not mild steel- which, mild steel would have been OK. It’s frustrating when things are so poorly made. I can’t beef the price of $20 (which tells me China, probably) but obviously at this point I have over $100 into it.
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2023 10:22 am 
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Trying to get lines and shapes to intersect in a way that satisfies in three categories:
--Functional
--Not a danger to the hands
--Looks pleasing.

I try to get those two radiused areas to come out somewhat balanced.
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And.... FRAG, early. The pattern hasn't morphed much since this one in, I think, 2005, but the process has.

"FRAG..... often shamelessly knocked off but never duplicated" :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2023 4:39 am 
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Now that takes a lot of time and skill. Thanks for posting. Someone sent me a link from another forum on custom firearm. (The Colt Forum) I was a bit surprised and the ignorance of those commenting on what it took to build a custom firearm from a base gun. As with most forums. There was one or two knowing what skill and tools and time to build versus the "Wally World" mentality of the other eighteen to twenty comments. Kind of like shopping for a "Heart Surgeon" at the Dollar Store. Ned. Thank you for posting.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop goings-on
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2023 6:34 am 
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Well no one is born knowing all about custom 1911's. The trick is to realize you don't know it all and act accordingly.... that's where people sometimes give maybe more advice than they should. I can't say I've never been guilty of that! We've been fortunate here on LTW, something about the culture of the forum I think, has caused people to consider more carefully what they say. I mean yah, these days there is very little traffic but even at our peak, it was... good. LTW these days is a hidden gem. Not a lot of quantity, but the contributors and discussions here are quality. I always hasten to say that LTW has no exclusivity on great custom work. There's good work being down out there by guys who probably have not even heard of LTW. We're just one small town on the map, but it's a great little town!

There may be more people watching than are participating here. My above comment about FRAG caused a viewer to send some pics of a FRAG gun I did in 2003 (Brian Enos forum I think). I commented in that thread (of which, I had no memory), and it appears this was about the time I started calling the pattern FRAG.

Here's one of the pics:
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If anyone visiting LTW wants to sign up, pick a username that is two separate words. We are inundated with spam bots so anyone wanting to join has to be individually vetted. Having two separate words in the name with a space between them will make it easier to pick you out from the 10,000 robots.


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