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A learning project

Posted 06-25-2012 at 01:25 PM by Old Draftsman
Updated 06-25-2012 at 01:31 PM by Old Draftsman

Well, it was a very warm and boring Saturday Apr 25, so just having located a project .45 (1911 of course) my friend Max and I headed out to meet the seller of said piece. I'll post some photos as soon as I can of the finished project. ("I built it, test fired it and it jammed so I decided to sell it.) The story went. Well, if it was test fired, it's a miracle it fired at all.

I acquired the jammed pistol after field stripping and verifying it was all there and headed home. All is well and while doing a complete dis-assembly discovered a bunch of out of spec parts. Tossed the sear, dis-connector, all springs and pins, hammer strut, bushing and mainspring housing. oh boy, this is gonna be fun... The slide was sticking, dirty and the firing pin was STUCK. I don't mean tight, that sucker was STUCK and required a punch and 16oz hammer to coax it out. I should have kept it for show and tell but I didn't.


*Midway was my friend for the rebuild. I did an inventory, online search, ordered Sunday, parts arrived Tuesday and working piece Wednesday. Checked, rechecked, assembled, disassembled, racked, oiled wiped, stoned, polished, cussed, blessed well, those who have followed this path are in the know...

Saturday, May 2 everything is smooth as can be. All parts fitted, tools put away then I remembered, barrel head space has not been verified. I need a go/nogo gauge and don't want to wait. Borrow? Well that won't work cause I don't know anyone who has them or for that *matter even knows what they are. Whatcha gonna do now smart ass? I reckon, I'll just make them myself. All I needed was the dimension (I have a lathe) and I'll be in business. Oops, what about material? There aren't even two small pieces of brass anywhere to be found so I grabbed a piece of aluminum 5/8" rod and made the gauges. Yes, I know aluminum is soft but it worked and with proper care will last me a lifetime *More to follow...


...made the gauges and everything checks ok. Now for the test fire. Range closed Tuesday, WTH ? oh well, Wednesday comes and with targets in place, firing line is ready, locked and loaded with 1 round, squeeze the bang switch, smoke, fire, muzzle jumps and a hole magically * appears in the target. Slide locked open no loose parts, ok 2 rounds loaded in magazine, target acquired, bang. Brass ejected, fresh round loaded second round ready, bang. Works like a new one. I have my shooter.

It's nothing fancy, just my first real training piece from a non-working piece to a safe, accurate shooting piece project. The trouble now is I wannanotheronenow syndrome has got me. I wish I had been a little more patient and taken pictures to document the whole process.

Let me say I am not a gunsmith but have many years working with and handling weapons. I work on MY guns because I enjoy doing what I know is within my limits. I will not hesitate to seek the services of a "real" gunsmith anytime a question of personal safety arises. Advice to the casual user, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Support your local Gunsmith. Please!

Since the build, some 500 rounds have been fired through this old pistol with nary a failure. She's not too pretty, but she's ready to dance anytime.
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