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Thread: 1911 80% rescue

  1. #1
    Gunco Member Merkava's Avatar
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    Default 1911 80% rescue

    I was 99% done with a nice 1911 80% build. I used an officers slide, Ed Brown Barrel, Full length guide rod,Pachmayr American Legend grips...well you get the picture. It really looked good and seemed to function fine. I was putting the magazine catch in. A standard drop in part,right. Well..these standard drop in parts always need a bit of grinding and sanding to drop in correctly. And what do we do when we grind and sand and dremel for half an hour and it still doesnt fit? Thats right...we hit it with a hammer.
    At first I just gave each side a tap to get a smooth fit;then I started to smack it real good because it just seemed logical that I could open up the channel and get the catch to move nice and freely in the frame. I used a tap on each side as I hit it. When I stopped to check the fit I saw that I had punched out the lip or the piece of the frame that the catch pin pushes out against. In other words, I had broken off all the metal past the groove that the pin locks into. I felt like beating myself to death with the broken frame. I tried to drop solder in there and file it down...no good. The solder came right out and I wasnt too sure of its strength anyway. I tried some Quik Steel..you know that putty like stuff that hardens into a real good bond...same story. It hardened and the whole piece broke away from the frame with a bit of pressure. And then....I dug out an old roll pin laying around and drilled a hole from right next to the trigger into the magazine catch well. I put the magazine catch and the spring in place and held the spring down with the head of the smallest screw driver I have. I tapped the roll pin through the hole until it engaged the spring. I cut off the protruding end of the pin and used a dremel file to smooth it out. I opened up the roll pin with a tiny nail,just like staking the plunger tube in, and it works fine. And what have we learned from all this? Thats right we need hammer control...not gun control !

  2. #2
    Gunco Regular sks_hunter's Avatar
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    lol, cephus.... at least put a brake on it to control climb, or a flash hider so you're not blinded.
    good to hear, Merkava, thaT you were able to save it. chalk it up as one lesson learned.
    Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money

  3. #3
    BANNED belayer's Avatar
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    I've had to do EXTENSIVE work on a pair of alloy Tannery shop 80% frames to get them to work, and they still need Tig welding to make the frame tangs fit the McCormick Beavertail grip safeties. I had to cut the groove for the mag catch stud into one, and weld up the mag catch so it would hold the mag at the right height for proper feeding. On the other one, the hole for the mag catch was way oversized, so I used the torch to add metal to the mag catch body, and fitted it. The slots in the frame were all wrong for the mainspring housing, and numerous other things were stupidly way out of spec.

  4. #4
    Gunco Rookie svennerz's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried TIG wleding a cast stainless frame? I have an 80% project that was damaged by an end mill when converting to a commander size frame, its got two large and deep scratches on one side... ouch!

  5. #5
    BANNED belayer's Avatar
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    welding any cast material is tricky. It can easily mean a cracked frame. I'd just live with it. The welder usually has to preheat the metal with a torch or a heat treating oven, then "normalize" the part after welding, in an oven. If a kitchen oven is very close, it can be used for the latter job,if it's preheated to about 450F degrees. The part has to "heat-soak" for several hours, or so I understand, to help the metal's grain- stucture rearrange itself, after the welding stirs it up, or something like that.

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